The Republican National Committee will be asked this week to stand behind President Donald Trump and nip talk of 2020 primary challenges in the bud, according to new reports.
The RNC’s governing committee meets this week near Albuquerque, New Mexico.
RNC member Jevon Williams of the U.S. Virgin Islands wants the RNC to go on record now in support of the president, and has said GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has given her blessing to his resolution, the Washington Examiner reported. McDaniel is the niece of Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, a long-time Trump critic.
Williams, who initially proposed his resolution in early January, has worked with RNC officials to adapt the language to address concerns.
In his initial proposal, which sought to block any primary challenges, Williams said he was responding to the “calculated political treachery” of Romney, who lambasted the president in a New Year’s Day Op-Ed in The Washington Post, according to a transcript of the email published by CBS.
“The so-called Republicans seeking to defeat President Trump have used our silence to advance their cause. It’s time to make our voice heard: Our party, be it the RNC or the grassroots in the 56 states, territories and District of Columbia, is united behind President Trump,” Williams said then.
Williams said in an email quoted by the Examiner, written in support of his revised proposal, that failure to support Trump now will be read as opening the door for potential rivals.
“Now is not the time for equivocation. Words matter,” Williams wrote.
“The failure to pass a resolution supporting his re-nomination and re-election will be seen by some as a sign that we would welcome Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Larry Hogan or another Never Trumper challenging President Trump in the primaries, caucuses and conventions.”
Other committee members said they back the idea.
“I wholeheartedly support Jevon’s resolution. President Trump needs this expression of support from his party at this time,” said Marti Halverson, a committee member from Wyoming.
“Any primary attempt by (former Ohio Gov. John) Kasich, Flake or Romney is a fool’s errand. I support any move by the RNC to support President Trump and secure his nomination as early as possible,” said Guy Short, a former national delegate to GOP conventions.
Williams is not the only one wanting the RNC on the record.
According to an Associated Press report appearing in The Washington Post, RNC committee members Carolyn McLarty of Oklahoma and Bruce Ash of Arizona want the committee to declare its “undivided support” for Trump. McLarty and Ash did not initially support Trump in 2016.
McDaniel authored a recent Op-Ed for Fox News in which she summarized the past two years of the Trump presidency.
“Thanks to this administration’s pro-growth policies, over 4.5 million new jobs have been added to the workforce. The unemployment rate remains at 3.9 percent, near its lowest in 50 years. The number of people on food stamps is near an eight-year low,” she wrote.
The RNC chair contrasted this with the actions of Democrats.
“Americans have watched Democrats sit on their hands time and again instead of coming to the table and working with Republicans and President Trump to deliver results for this country,” she wrote.
“President Trump will not be deterred from doing what is right for the American people. As he enters the third year of his presidency, there is much more success still to come, and many more promises to be fulfilled for our future,” she wrote.
“We will continue to be inspired by his inaugural words: ‘Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.'”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel as Sen. Mitt Romney’s daughter. She is, of course, his niece. We corrected the article after an observant reader noticed our error, for which we apologize.
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