Tag: ronna mcdaniel
Republican National Committee

Republican National Committee Vows To 'Go On Offense' Over Abortion

Republicans didn’t get the big red wave they expected in November’s elections, thanks to voter anger over harsh abortion bans. So how are Republicans going to do better in 2024? By embracing harsh abortion bans, if the Republican National Committee has anything to say about it. That’s the party’s official position as laid out at length in a resolution passed by the RNC on Monday.

See, the problem is that Republicans didn’t talk about abortion enough in 2022. “Instead of fighting back and exposing Democratic extremism on abortion, many Republican candidates failed to remind Americans of our proud heritage of challenging slavery, segregation, and the forces eroding the family and the sanctity of human life, thereby allowing Democrats to define our longtime position,” in the resolution’s words.

The RNC passed the resolution in the wake of Ronna McDaniel’s reelection as chair and, in that context, it looks like a Kevin McCarthy-style concession to the far right. McDaniel was reelected easily compared with McCarthy’s 15 rounds of speaker votes, but the chair fight drew enough attention, and her opponents drew enough votes, to give her reason to try to shore up her right flank. As ways of doing that go, though, “more abortion bans” is a glorious gift to Democrats.

The resolution for action moving forward is twofold. First, there’s a plan to “go on offense,” aka lie. “The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to remember this proud heritage, go on offense in the 2024 election cycle, and expose the Democrats’ extreme position of supporting abortion on-demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers, even supporting discriminatory abortions such as gender selection or when the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.”

That is simply not the position of the Democratic Party. So that’s step one: “Hey, Republicans, you didn’t lie about Democrats enough in 2022! Fix that in 2024!”

The second part of the action plan is to pass more anti-abortion laws, specifically ones based on disinformation. Yep, voters dealt you a historic rebuke in 2022 over the anti-abortion laws you had already passed, but this time is going to be different.

“The Republican National Committee urges Republican lawmakers in state legislatures and in Congress to pass the strongest pro-life legislation possible – such as laws that acknowledge the beating hearts and experiences of pain in the unborn – underscoring the new relics of barbarism the Democratic Party represents as we approach the 2024 cycle.”

The “beating hearts” part means six-week abortion bans based on the first signs of cardiac activity that come long before anything that could reasonably be described as a heart has formed. Those bans prohibit abortion starting at a point before many people know they are pregnant.

The “experiences of pain” part is a mainstay of Republican anti-abortion legislation, often used as an argument for 15-week abortion bans. Except a 15-week fetus does not and cannot feel pain. Here’s what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say on the issue: “The science conclusively establishes that a human fetus does not have the capacity to experience pain until after at least 24–25 weeks. Every major medical organization that has examined this issue and peer-reviewed studies on the matter have consistently reached the conclusion that abortion before this point does not result in the perception of pain in a fetus.” The 24 to 25 weeks at which the capacity to feel pain develops, by the way, is also right around the viability threshold that was a critical part of the rights guaranteed under Roe v. Wade.

The RNC probably thinks that part one of the plan—tell lies about Democrats being the real extremists on abortion—will overwhelm part two of the plan—pass more of the kind of laws that voters rose up against last year. But the losses of hardcore anti-abortion politicians like Arizona Senate nominee Blake Masters, Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, and Michigan gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon suggest that “go harder on abortion” may not be the key to success in battleground states.

If Republicans want to try that, though, please proceed. Anti-abortion bills are not going to get through the U.S. Senate or get President Joe Biden’s signature, but if House Republicans want to pre-write Democratic campaign ads by passing some message bills showing what they would do to ban abortion at the federal level if Republicans got full control of government … great, thanks guys. If Republicans manage to pass more state-level abortion restrictions, real suffering will follow in those states, as has already kicked off in the states that have passed harsh restrictions.

But the low-hanging fruit has already been picked—the states that don’t yet have abortion bans are probably ones where, even if Republicans propose such bills, they may encounter trouble passing them, potentially even from fellow Republicans who look at what happened in 2022 and decide that maybe extreme opposition to abortion is not a winning tactic.

Abortion, and the long-term consequences of banning it, aren't going anywhere as political issues because they're not going anywhere in people’s lives. If Republicans want to keep being loud and proud about which side they’re on, that’s helpful in ensuring that voters know what their votes mean when Election Day rolls around.

​Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the official position of the Republican National Committee (RNC) on abortion?

The RNC passed a resolution calling for Republican candidates to embrace harsh abortion bans in an effort to do better in the 2024 elections. The resolution also calls for Republicans to "go on offense" and lie about the Democratic Party's stance on abortion and for Republican lawmakers to pass more anti-abortion laws.

Why did Republicans perform poorly in the 2022 elections with regards to abortion?

According to the RNC, Republicans failed to talk about abortion enough in the 2022 elections, allowing the Democrats to define their stance on the issue.

What is the first part of the RNC's action plan regarding abortion?

The first part of the RNC's action plan is for Republicans to "go on offense" and lie about the Democratic Party's stance on abortion, claiming they support abortion "on-demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers."

What is the second part of the RNC's action plan regarding abortion?

The second part of the RNC's action plan is for Republican lawmakers to pass more anti-abortion laws, specifically ones based on misinformation, such as six-week abortion bans based on the first signs of cardiac activity.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Tucker Carlson Wants His Very Own RNC Chairwoman (VIDEO)

Tucker Carlson Wants His Very Own RNC Chairwoman (VIDEO)

Fox News star Tucker Carlson responded to the GOP’s dismal showing in the midterm elections by pointing fingers elsewhere and demanding accountability. Two months later, his call for new House and Senate leadership has gone unfulfilled. But Carlson is still urging the party to replace Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel with Harmeet Dhillon, a GOP official and longtime presence on Fox who is seeking the position.

Dhillon is challenging McDaniel, the RNC’s chair since 2017, on largely technocratic rather than ideological grounds. Dhillon has no problem with the motley crew of extremists the GOP nominated in 2022 — in fact, she is very much part of that milieu. A 2020 election conspiracy theorist, Dhillon has described Fox host Laura Ingraham and right-wing troll Dinesh D’Souza as “long-time mentors,” and her law firm has represented Donald Trump, the RNC, and a host of Republican causes and far-right figures. McDaniel said in early December that she already had the votes to be reelected. But Dhillon has been working the right-wing press and appears to be making inroads with some state parties ahead of the RNC winter meetings later this month, where she and McDaniel will debate before the vote.

Carlson is among Dhillon’s most prominent supporters. He gave the challenger a platform to launch her bid in early December and has hosted her repeatedly over the past month. The Fox host uses his highly rated and influential program to praise her candidacy and to promote negative reporting about McDaniel, whom he’s suggested no one should support. Carlson’s pro-Dhillon campaign sets him apart from his prime-time colleagues, who have been more neutral, and Fox’s “news side” anchors, who have instead promoted McDaniel, while aligning him with the right’s insurgent wing.

While both have been Fox regulars for years, Dhillon has in recent months appeared more frequently and on higher-rated programs than has McDaniel. Dhillon has made 14 weekday appearances on Fox since the midterms; 13 of them came on the programs of Carlson or Ingraham. McDaniel, meanwhile, has made only 6 weekday appearances, all of which came on the network’s “news side” shows.

When Carlson hosted Dhillon on December 5, he left no doubt whom he supported for RNC chair. He introduced her as “our friend” and “frequent guest on the show” (she has made at least 66 appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight since August 2017). After giving her the opportunity to announce her run for RNC chair and to go through her talking points, Carlson closed the interview by praising his guest and offering a testimonial on her behalf.

“I love it, I love it,” Carlson said. “I can vouch for your toughness. It's absolutely real and much needed. Godspeed. Harmeet Dhillon, we are rooting for you. Thank you.”

Carlson again promoted Dhillon’s candidacy when she returned to the program on January 5.

“I don't understand why Republicans seem to have this instinct to reward failure and mediocrity,” he said. “Nothing against the current occupant of that office, who seems like a fine person, but given the record, how could anybody, how could any RNC member for a moment consider supporting that person again? I don’t understand it.”

And in a third interview on January 11, Carlson praised Dhillon as someone who “plans to try and change” Washington, D.C.

Carlson also devoted a December segment to a report that McDaniel had overseen lavish expenditures for luxury clothing, private plane use, flowers, and staff retreats.

Carlson’s prime-time colleagues Ingraham and Sean Hannity, both powerful figures in the GOP in their own rights, have been more reticent. Ingraham has praised both candidates; while she has given Dhillon opportunities to make her case on her show, the Fox host has not weighed in on whom the party should pick. Hannity, meanwhile, has not mentioned either McDaniel or Dhillon on his Fox show since Dhillon launched her bid. While handing off to Ingraham on December 7, Hannity explicitly said he wasn’t going to take sides.

“I like Ronna McDaniel a lot. I've said that I like her. She's a great person and great, great woman,” Ingraham told Hannity. “But, I mean, you do have to make the case as to why you actually deserve to get reappointed.”

“I'm not getting involved in that match,” Hannity replied.

In addition to Carlson, Dhillon is a favorite of former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who has hosted her on his War Room show, and Turning Post USA founder Charlie Kirk, who has urged RNC members not to reelect McDaniel. Dhillon was “was promoted extensively” at TPUSA’s youth conference in December, where she “was featured on live broadcasts and conservative talk shows set up from the conference’s media row, culminating in a live podcast recording with commentator Tim Pool from the convention hall.”

She has also touted recent appearances with the likes of Glenn Beck, John Fredericks, Liz Wheeler, and Dave Rubin.

Under McDaniel’s tenure at the RNC, the party became deeply mired in the right-wing fever swamps. But Dhillon has no interest in pulling it out.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

RNC Election Audit Will Assess Trump's Role In 2022 Midterm Failures

RNC Election Audit Will Assess Trump's Role In 2022 Midterm Failures

The Republican National Committee is set to conduct its first post-election audit in a decade to scrutinize the GOP’s unfavorable electoral outcome of the past few cycles including its lackluster performance in the 2022 midterms — and figure out whether former President Donald Trump bore responsibility for the collapse of the anticipated “red tsunami.”

“We need to figure out what worked and what didn’t work in the ’22 cycle to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to win in ’24. I think there’s a lot to learn from,” Henry Barbour, an RNC committeeman for Mississippi chosen to co-author the RNC review, told the Associated Press.

The report, Rolling Stonerevealed, will delve into the role Trump, who endorsed over 250 Republicans across the country in 2022, played in the November 2022 red wave that never was — a historic underperformance for the GOP that resulted in an explosion of intra-party fighting, recriminations, and a minuscule Republican House majority.

"Looking at President Trump, what has he gotten right? And what has he gotten wrong? And how do we learn from that to win elections going forward?" Barbour said to NBC News in an interview.

Nearly 300 Republican election deniers — people who peddled Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” — made the ballot in the 2022 midterms, some gunning for offices with authority to oversee elections, according to the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based liberal think-tank.

Despite running on issues such as inflation, crime, and “election integrity,” election deniers were soundly thrashed in battleground states by voters, 44 percent of whom stepped into the voting booths primarily concerned about the future of American democracy, per the Associated Press, costing the GOP its long-sought Senate majority.

"And so I think we’re going to work our way through all of those various issues and dynamics to hopefully lay out our recommendations that will put the party in a much stronger position to win going forward," Barbour said.

After its last post-election audit — a 100-page report that was released in 2013 and titled Growth and Opportunity Project — the Republican National Committee lamented the GOP’s record low public perception levels and recommended more inclusive messaging and “champion comprehensive immigration reform,” lest “our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”

However, the Republican Party abandoned its recommendations when Trump sauntered onto the political scene in 2015, radically promising on the campaign trail to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it, defund planned parenthood, and even surveil mosques in the US.

The RNC turned a blind eye to the former president’s dehumanizing descriptions of migrants, his controversial Muslim travel ban, his Supreme court-packing that led to the overturning of Roe v Wade and the federal abortion rights it provided, and his baseless claims of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which culminated in a horrific attack by a mob of Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol to overturn Trump’s loss.

The 2022 post-election audit was ordered by Ronna McDaniel, the three-term RNC chair who is under fire from RNC members and conservative voters for her fresh bid for a fourth term after the party’s underwhelming performance at the ballot box in every election since Trump’s narrow win in 2016.

Trump has sought to deflect blame for the GOP’s 2022 midterm blunder, as he did for the 2018 and 2022 elections. In 2018, the Republican party lost over 30 seats, and Trump claimed the losses would have ballooned to the 70s had it not been for him. After losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, the former president, as the House January 6 committee said in its final report, concocted the Big Lie in a “multi-part” plot to overturn his defeat.

Following this blame-shifting precedent, Trump, in a Truth Social post, blamed “the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion” for the Republican Party’s midterm defeat.

Republicans Say They Should Have Talked More About Abortion

Republicans Say They Should Have Talked More About Abortion

“It was probably a bigger factor than a lot of people thought.”

That's current Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel having the most profound GOP revelation of the cycle on the role abortion played in the midterms. McDaniel was speaking earlier this month with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis, but her next observation was perhaps even more telling.

“We’ve got to get conversant on that,” McDaniel added, according to The Hill.

That's the jargon of a political operative who knows their entire enterprise has taken a direct hit and has absolutely no earthly idea what to do about it.

McDaniel surely would be ignoring the topic of abortion if there was any chance Republicans could just stick their heads in the sand and ride it out, but the energy behind the issue and its financial firepower wouldn't allow for that, she admitted:

“We can’t just do an ostrich method and pretend that it doesn’t exist when Democrats are spending $30 million on that message.”

But if the the next phase of the Republican Party's campaign to take 50 percent of the American population hostage is anything like the misadventure of their post-2012 GOP autopsy, simply acknowledging the problem is all but meaningless amid the vacuousness of the GOP.

The truth is most Republican operatives knew exactly how devastating abortion might prove at the polls, even as they publicly assured political reporters that women would forget being voted constitutional inferiors by the time they cast their ballots.

The RNC actually put out a memo encouraging Republican candidates to cast themselves as pro-lifers open to exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother, while depicting Democrats as wanting "abortion at any time for any reason." That false framing supposedly yielded a 22-point advantage for generic Republicans, per the RNC memo.

But the entire conversation was so toxic for Republicans, candidates chose to ignore it altogether.

“We put out a memo, we said address this, take this head-on,” McDaniel explained in a post-election interview with Tony Perkins, president of the right wing Family Research Council. “How many candidate consultants said we don’t want to talk about it, it’s not polling well?”

And it wasn’t polling well for Republicans in virtually every survey conducted on the topic. Remember when Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tried to offer a compromise ban of 15 weeks? There’s a reason that national ban proposal dropped like a lead balloon on the campaign trail.

Naturally, McDaniel’s doing a lot of CYA as she tries to save her job, but she does seem to realize Republicans are in a pickle. Her fundamentalist counterparts, meanwhile, remain delusional.

For instance, get a load of Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

“I’m very confident that the voters are with us on this,” Musgrave said of placing what she called "reasonable limits" on abortion.

Never mind the fact that Roe v. Wade—and the approximate 24-week viability limits associated with it—was the standard for what roughly two-thirds of Americans consider "reasonable."

Yet Musgrave believes that all Republicans need to do is work a little harder at jamming their extremism down Americans' throats.

“They just need to get that information and they need leaders and they need candidates talking about this," she explained. "And of course, it will be a big issue in the presidential, so here we go.”

Oh yes, yes, it will be.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.