Ronna McDaniel Claims Her Tenure as RNC Chair Was Successful; Now Pull the Other Leg



Our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar did a worthy overview of former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel’s first private-citizen interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press” with Kristen Welker. It was a truly terrible interview. Not just for that fact that it was journalistic garbage (duh), but for the fact that McDaniel did herself no favors with her new audience or the old one (if it existed). McDaniel is now a woman without a party. The new GOP has said good riddance and the old GOP doesn’t really want herthey have Liz Cheney, whose last name carries more gravitas with the elitists than Romneys. She is without a home and, therefore, without any talking points. 

McDaniel claimed,

When you’re the RNC chair you – you kind of take one for the whole team, right? Now I get to be a little bit more myself, right? This is what I believe. 

What essentially amounts to she believes in nothing. It’s clear that this woman has no independent thoughts of her own, which makes her the perfect “Republican” stooge for the MSNBC brand. As Van Laar covered, the entire interview was a “Let’s dump on Trump” confessional, when it should have been about McDaniel’s record as RNC Chair. Out of this 21-minute interview, Welker spent less than a minute on this talking point. As a journalist, this is where she should have pushed back and challenged McDaniel as there were plenty of places Welker could have blown holes into McDaniel’s fabulist viewpoints.

WELKER: 

One RNC member told Politico that you were a, quote, “Failed chair.” Another said, quote, “We lost the House, the Senate, and the White House while she was chair.” Did you deserve to stay on with that track record, Ronna?

RONNA McDANIEL:

You know, I push back on that very hard. You know, the fact that under my time as chair we’ve had more women in Congress ever than in the history of our party, that we’ve had more minority growth in our party. And that didn’t just happen. I had offices open in Black, Asian, Hispanic communities that we had ignored as a party, and we’ve seen growth as a result, which by the way, we’re seeing in this election as well. And then I’m going to point out to this: The RNC, we don’t do the messaging. We don’t pick the candidates. We’re turnout. So if you look at 2022, just 2022, we turned out four million more Republicans, and we would’ve won the Electoral College based on that turnout. So when I – what I say to people is, “If we’re building the road that all the candidates drive on and if one candidate got to the finish line, the road wasn’t the problem. It’s candidate to candidate.” And I can go to every race in 2022. So I view my tenure as RNC chair as a success.

“As chair we’ve had more women in Congress ever than in the history of our party.”

New York Rep. and House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik would like a word. As RedState reported back in 2020, Stefanik was the first female recruitment lead for the National Republican Congressional Committee but after the Republicans got trounced in the 2018 midterms (under McDaniel’s RNC Chair tenure), Stefanik stepped down from the NRCC recruitment position and mounted her own political action committee. This sister did it for herself and her fellow GOP candidates. Ronna McDaniel did abso-freaking-lutely nothing.

Stefanik, 38, founded her political action committee, Elevate PAC, or E-PAC, in 2018, when only 13 Republican women served in the House of Representatives. At the time, her goal was to elect more conservative women to Congress.In 2020, 11 of the 15 House seats that Republicans flipped were won by women that E-PAC had endorsed. Today, there are 34 Republican women in the House. 

During this campaign cycle, Stefanik’s organization has raised and donated more than $1 million directly to female Republican candidates, and 23 women endorsed by E-PAC are running in the general election. Since its creation, E-PAC has raised $4 million to date.

As I said in 2020, Stefanik not only formed E-PAC to encourage and support more women seeking elective office, but her PAC also provides tools and funding for them to do so, including premier press coverage. How many female candidates did McDaniel do that for? How many did she leave floundering in the wind to figure it out on their own? Far too many. Stefanik recognized the greater need and wanted the freedom to support solid female leadership without the strictures of the Republican bureaucracy. Smart move and she deserves all the credit, not McDaniel.

McDaniel also cannot claim the 2022 history-making election of the first female governor and lieutenant governor of Arkansas. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders has the Huckabee name, and that name is known for rock-ribbed conservatism and values. Huckabee-Sanders is also a savvy politician and chose a great running mate. Then there are the Senate candidates McDaniel ignored or allowed to become roadkill. Alaska’s Kelly Tshibaka comes to mind. As we wrote back in 2022, Tshibaka was making a credible run against the rubber stamp, McConnell-backed Sen. Lisa Murkowski. While the state’s GOP arm backed her, the national RNC simply yawned. While ranked-choice voting ultimately did in both Tshibaka and Sarah Palin (who ran for Congress in 2022 and was backed by Stefanik’s PAC), you did not hear any rallying of support from McDaniel for either candidate.  

The most gobsmacking part of this exchange is McDaniel’s claim that she increased minority participation in the GOP.

“…we’ve had more minority growth in our party. And that didn’t just happen. I had offices open in Black, Asian, Hispanic communities that we had ignored as a party, and we’ve seen growth as a result, which by the way, we’re seeing in this election as well.”

The record tells a different tale. As Jennifer Van Laar uncovered,  

Back in 2022, and during her re-election efforts in early 2023, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel touted the party’s minority outreach as a major accomplishment and a reason why she should continue to lead the party. In the 2022 cycle the party operated “nearly two dozen Hispanic Outreach Centers” in battleground areas around the country, stating that they wanted to become an integral and permanent part of that community. Today, though, according to a report in The Messenger, only five of those are still open.

This was back in January. McDaniel was fired resigned a month later, but the legacy news coverage placed blame for the closure of minority centers on Trump and the new RNC leadership. Now McDaniel’s touts as success the growth of minority involvement and turnout. So on brand for a person who immediately trots over to left-wing media for a job. But the head-desk part comes with her closing line.

“If we’re building the road that all the candidates drive on and if one candidate got to the finish line, the road wasn’t the problem. It’s candidate to candidate. And I can go to every race in 2022. So I view my tenure as RNC chair as a success.”

That road she claims she built from 2017 through 2023 requires some serious construction and has crater-sized potholes, thanks to her. Some candidates were SUVs and big trucks out the lot, others were compact cars that could have used the party’s help to upgrade. While the state party apparatus did what they could, McDaniel did nothing to fill the potholes or help those economy candidates have a smoother ride on that road. Instead, she spent money on private jets, limousine services, expensive retreats, office flowers, alcohol, and probably her facelifts and spa visits.

Success? Depends on your measure. 



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