Ronna McDaniel, the current chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, has said that she is willing to have a private debate with her potential challengers, but has avoided publicly discussing the possibility of such a discussion.
Because to the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) lackluster performance in the midterm elections, McDaniel is in the middle of a public struggle to retain her position as party head. Some Republicans are questioning her leadership, but she has brushed it off, saying that she doesn’t want to play the “blame game” and that split-ticket voting is to blame for the party’s midterm losses.
“I welcome contact from the 168 at any time. As a result, I have constant communication with them, “McDaniel said Steve Bannon, host of the War Room podcast.
McDaniel was asked if she would be willing to participate in a public debate, but she declined, saying, “I’m interested in doing things in front of the 168 — that’s what I’m interested in doing.” She was referring to the 168 members of the Republican National Committee who will cast ballots at the party’s upcoming winter conference to choose its next leader.
Reportedly, she has secured the support of over 100 of the 168-vote bloc.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the outgoing candidate, has dropped out of the race, but McDaniel still faces opposition from Harmeet Dhillon (a California lawyer) and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (who has been blamed for the party’s election losses).
According to the Associated Press, both McDaniel and Dhillon told former President Donald Trump about their candidacy, but neither candidate sought Trump’s endorsement because they wanted to remain neutral in the RNC’s 2024 presidential primary. Despite the fact that McDaniel had been Trump’s de facto pick for the position during his time in the White House, Trump apparently did nothing to discourage Dhillon from running against her.
Meanwhile, Lindell is waging a campaign that is widely seen as a long shot because he has dealt heavily in 2020 election denialism.
Although McDaniel is feeling the brunt of the party’s backlash after the midterm elections, he is not alone. Defections from the rightward side of the House Republican caucus have made the path to the speakership extremely difficult for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Steve Bannon asks @GOPChairwoman if she’s open to do a Q&A/debate with the RNC 168, @mikelindell and @pnjaban. Ronna McDaniel says she’s open to do it only in front of the 168. pic.twitter.com/oAIaxMyraq
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) December 16, 2022