Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy made headlines during the third primary debate by taking aim at Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel for her perceived role in transforming the GOP into a “party of losers.”
Citing losses in multiple elections since she took over at the helm of the RNC in 2017, Ramaswamy said: “We have to have accountability in our party. For that matter, Ronna, if you want to come on stage tonight and look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will turn over, yield my time to you.”
While McDaniel blamed the attack on Ramaswamy’s low poll numbers and his need for “a headline,” he is not the only prominent Republican with a dim view of her leadership — and in the wake of the fourth debate this week, a number of party insiders are levying similar accusations against her.
McDaniel faced a pair of challengers earlier this year who pointed to losses in 2018, 2020 and 2022 as evidence that she should not be granted a fourth term as RNC chair. Since emerging victorious, Republicans went on to experience some significant setbacks in the latest off-year elections.
As one party strategist opined: “What concerns donors and activists is that the RNC is not focused as much as it should be on turning out voters, chasing ballots in the general election. That is where everyone thinks the RNC is coming up short.”
Two-time GOP presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee offered a similarly dim view of the committee under McDaniel’s leadership.
“The RNC became a very important part of winning elections,” he said. “I’m not seeing that right now. It seems like that we raise money but we don’t raise that much. But we don’t have a message.”
Ronna "Romney" McDaniel needs to GO!
She's done nothing but lose national elections and takes no responsibility for that! pic.twitter.com/hnVyqCJuI1
— Gays For Trump (@GaysForTrump24) December 6, 2023
Not everyone is placing all of the blame on McDaniel, however. Some claim former President Donald Trump has fueled GOP losses in recent years while others blame the fact that a Democrat is currently in the White House.
Nevertheless, it seems clear to many Republican operatives that she at least shares some of the onus for the party’s poor performance.
According to a strategist cited by The Hill, Republicans are “basically half a decade behind the Democrats when it comes to chasing ballots.”
While McDaniel is not to blame for all of that, the source said that a change should have been implemented “following the 2020 election because that was the blaring red light.”