RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Defends Record Against Calls for Her Resignation

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is in the hot seat after disappointing results for the GOP in the recent elections that took place on Wednesday. She is now facing even more scrutiny and calls for her resignation coming from high-profile conservatives and Republicans who attribute the GOP’s less-than-stellar performances over the past few elections to McDaniel’s performance as leader of the national party.


During an appearance on Fox News with host Laura Ingraham, McDaniel defended her record and addressed criticism about her leadership. Ingraham brought up the calls for McDaniel’s resignation and asked her to respond.

McDaniel started by deflecting, putting the attention on President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

Well, first, I'm going to continue to focus on Joe Biden and Democrats. And I think there was a moment missed during that debate by Vivek to talk about the fact that we still have 13 American hostages in Israel, the fact that for the first time ever in the history of either party, we had a Jewish co-sponsor for a debate, and we are in very perilous times in our country.

The RNC chair claimed that GOP voters “are tired of the circular firing squad within our party” and asked, “Can we please talk about Joe Biden and the Democrats and the border and fentanyl and crime and what’s happening to our kids and inflation?”

Ingraham pressed McDaniel, saying that she believes in accountability. “That’s what I asked you and you went into another conversation,” the host said. McDaniel responded:

I was going to go there. Sorry. I took too long on the answer, but I was getting there. I'm not trying to avoid anything. Let me promise you that, Laura. Listen, when Vivek didn't vote in 2016, I was leading Michigan to the first win in history in 30 years. In 2018, we defied the odds. We got three senators, people like Josh Hawley, that allowed President Trump to build the largest conservative majority on the Supreme Court. In 2022, the RNC, which is a turnout machine, we're not the messengers. We don't create the messages for the campaigns. Those are the consultants who get very well paid.


Ingraham then brought up the controversy over the GOP’s performance in Virginia, which was disappointing, to say the least. McDaniel was again criticized for not providing financial assistance for Republican candidates running in the state. She claimed the state Republican Party told her they did not need help, an argument that was later debunked.

“I know at one point you said that you were not asked for money in Virginia, but a Republican source familiar with the Youngkin team in Virginia told the angle late tonight that that is false. And there, meaning your story keeps changing,” Ingraham said.

McDaniel answered by claiming that she could not raise state dollars and said this point is being brought up by people who are intent on coming after her.

Glenn Youngkin did a phenomenal job and he raised a lot of money. A lot of people don't understand fundraising. I can't raise state dollars. I don't get unlimited convention and state dollars. And these were state House and state Senate races. The RNC is a federal committee. So come on. These are people who come after me all the time. They're on Twitter, they're all the time. And let's see their results. What did they do in Virginia? How much money did they give? But let me stand by something else. In 2022, we took back the house and the RNC is part of that.


McDaniel’s defense of her record will probably not assuage concerns about her leadership coming from the Republican base. The issue came to a head when entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy issued scathing criticism against her at the third presidential primary debate.

Let's speak the truth. I mean, since Ronna McDaniel took over as Chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020. 2022, no red wave that never came. We got trounced last night in 2023. I think that we have to have accountability in our party. For that matter, Ronna, if you want to come on stage tonight, you want to look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign. I will turn over my yield, my time to you.

The internal strife within the Republican Party has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade with the establishment wing fending off attacks from the populist Trumpian wing. This controversy is the latest iteration of that battle. After the 2022 midterm elections, there were calls for McDaniel’s resignation and lawyer Harmett Dhillon had tremendous support among the Republican base. Still, McDaniels retained her position. The question is: How much longer will she last?



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