The Republican National Committee Friday gave President Donald Trump a public vote of support for his leadership.
Although designed to unify the party behind the president, the resolution did not include language some committee members wanted that would put the RNC on record as supporting Trump now, or change the rules for 2020 primaries to discourage potential challengers.
Carolyn McLarty, who represents Oklahoma on the RNC, sponsored the resolution She said the language was sufficiently strong for now, according to the Washington Examiner.
“My reason for doing it is to support the president. As you know, there’s been so much belittling and that kind of thing going on, Washington elites attacking the president, and that’s the focus of mine, to give him support, give him encouragement. I didn’t need to go beyond that,” she said.
“We stand behind him as the RNC. We represent the grass roots from across the country, and with all the media and attacks and things that have been going on, it was time for us to stand up and say we support you, you’re doing a good job,” McLarty said.
Others said that the resolution sends a message that should discourage potential Republican rivals to Trump.
“I think the RNC passing this resolution sends a clear and distinct message to all potential primary opponents that there’s no room for you with the base of our party and that there’s no oxygen for any candidacy in its infancy to get off the ground,” said committee member David Bossie, CNN reported.
“I support it,” said Jim Dicke, an RNC member from Ohio,
“Look, if Ronald Reagan didn’t take the nomination away from Gerald Ford, and Ted Kennedy couldn’t take the nomination away from Jimmy Carter, there is no way that a sitting president in the 21st century is going to be denied the nomination for a second term from his party if he wants it.”
Trump responded with a tweet thanking the committee for its public support.
Thank you to the Republican National Committee, (the RNC), who voted UNANIMOUSLY yesterday to support me in the upcoming 2020 Election. Considering that we have done more than any Administration in the first two years, this should be easy. More great things now in the works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
The RNC also voted unanimously on Friday to re-elect Ronna Romney McDaniel as party chair, The Hill reported.
McDaniel, who is the niece of Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who in 2016 bitterly opposed Trump’s nomination by the GOP and who on Jan. 1 authored an Op-Ed in The Washington Post attacking Trump.
“President Trump has incredible support amongst Republican voters and the full support of the RNC,” McDaniel said in a statement. “Our unprecedented relationship with the President and his campaign will be key to his re-election and ensuring we continue this great American comeback.”
Jevon Williams, who represents the U.S. Virgin Islands on the RNC, had wanted the RNC to explicitly support Trump for re-nomination, CBS reported. The resolution Williams sponsored was set aside by the committee and not acted upon.
As reported by The Western Journal, Williams had said the RNC needed to act forcefully to forestall a challenge to Trump that could weaken the party.
“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,” he said in an pre-meeting email to fellow RNC members.
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