- Before Trump announced his reelection campaign, the RNC chair promised to stay neutral in 2024.
- Now, Ronna McDaniel is calling for Nikki Haley to drop out of the primary and support Trump.
- In a statement, the RNC spokesperson told BI ” the primary election currently favors President Trump.”
In December 2023, while there were still around six remaining GOP presidential hopefuls vying for the party’s nomination, the chair of the Republican National Committee insisted the party wasn’t picking favorites.
Responding to the Florida Democratic Party’s decision to entirely skip holding a presidential primary in 2024 in favor of President Joe Biden, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said that while many Democrats say Republicans are a “threat to democracy,” she begged to differ.
“We’re not putting our thumb on the scale,” McDaniel said. “They’re making sure that Biden is bubble-wrapped. They’re going state by state to eliminate Donald Trump from the ballot for a crime he hasn’t even been charged for through the 14th Amendment.”
McDaniel’s statement wasn’t the first time she’d asserted the party wouldn’t interfere in the primary race. In January 2021, weeks after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, she told the Associated Press the RNC wouldn’t support Trump over any other primary contender.
Now, with less than a year until the November 2024 election, McDaniel’s opinion has shifted.
Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday after former President Donald Trump won the New Hampshire state primary, she said that after “looking at the math and the path going forward,” she didn’t think Haley could win.
“We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump, and we need to make sure we beat Joe Biden,” she added.
Asked for comment regarding McDaniel’s change in heart, the RNC’s press secretary insisted McDaniel was just telling the truth.
“Chairwoman McDaniel was stating the fact that the primary election currently favors President Trump,” RNC Spokesperson Anna Kelly told Business Insider.
McDaniel isn’t the first Republican leader to tip her hand toward the former president’s candidacy this election cycle.
Before the New Hampshire primary even finished, the chairs of the National Republican Congressional Committee and National Congressional Senate Committee each released statements backing Trump, calling him the “presumptive nominee.”
Trump does have a major lead in the vast majority of national and state polls over his remaining challenger, his former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
But Haley’s still a viable candidate, recently coming in second behind Trump in New Hampshire by around 11 percentage points. Directly following the primary, she vowed to move forward with her campaign.
“New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not the last in the nation,” she said. “This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go.”