“RNC does Trump’s bidding, frustrating its members”

From Politico Playbook:

That storyline started Thursday with news of the impending RNC censure of Reps. LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.) and ADAM KINZINGER (R-Ill.) for participating in the Democratic-led House investigation of the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol. Then, it quickly escalated Friday when the wording of the rebuke was released, claiming that in investigating Jan. 6, Cheney and Kinzinger had participated in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

THE BLOWBACK — Forget, for a moment, the outrage from the left and the media over the “legitimate political discourse” line. Many Republicans privately grumbled their own disapproval — and some took their protests public.

CNBC’s Brian Schwartztweeted out a statement from GOP financer ERIC LEVIN rebuking RNC Chair RONNA MCDANIEL by name and accusing her of setting back efforts to retake the House. Levin said he’s raised more than $1 million for GOP candidates, but that McDaniel’s actions make it harder for him to pump his network for cash. “Not only was the storming of the Capitol on January 6 NOT A LEGITIMATE FORM OF PROTEST, it was criminal behavior warranting prosecution,” he said.

He’s far from the only one. Our David Siders and Natalie Allisonhave a story up this morning reflecting on the internal frustration with how the RNC is dealing with Trump, whose appetite for revenge, they write, has emerged as “one of the biggest threats to the GOP’s otherwise bright prospects in November.” Members in Salt Lake City this week griped privately about the censure and the RNC’s recent decision to pay Trump’s legal bills related to lawsuits pertaining to his private business dealings, they report.

That’s to say nothing about the conference’s overarching message, which got totally drowned out: “During the public portion of the RNC meeting on Friday, Biden’s perceived shortcomings and the RNC’s plans for the midterms did get an airing,” the pair write. “McDaniel laced into Biden while touting new RNC initiatives to bolster the party’s outreach to minority groups, including opening ‘community centers’ to engage Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American voters. And the RNC has hired 15 new ‘election integrity state directors’ nationwide, she said, positions added as the national committee takes part in dozens of lawsuits to promote voter ID laws. … But it was the censure resolution that, for many members, was top of mind.”

After the furor erupted over the “legitimate political discourse” language, McDaniel sought to right the ship. She attacked the NYT story as “political propaganda.” She argued on Twitter that the phrase specifically referred to Jan. 6 participants who “had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol” — though the censure statement makes no such clarification.

Share this: