Critics of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and our members have conjured up a tale, and a Twitter and email storm to go with it, that I am out-of-touch.
I am going to bring some reality to this fantasy.
I am a suburban mom who got involved with her local party organization, went on to run the county organization, and then, the Michigan Republican party. In that role during 2016, I held the different wings of the party together, developed and implemented a new field strategy and raised more money than anyone else before me to make it happen.
And guess what? We won a state the Democrats didn’t even think was in play to make Donald Trump our 45th President.
That is why I am the RNC Chairman.
I did not get here via Twitter or TV appearances; I got here by organizing a better grassroots party.
And I have been the same grassroots leader as RNC Chair. I have logged half a million miles meeting, walking with and listening to hundreds of thousands of Americans, over the phone and in person.
I worked to help make our local organizations stronger, so our local and state parties were best equipped to support our candidates. I raised money for the federal candidates that voters (not beltway insiders, like my opponent wants) chose, and funded the data that volunteers used to get out the vote.
There is this line floating out there — “if your team is not winning enough, you gotta fire the coach!”
The RNC does not choose candidates — voters do. The RNC does not run campaigns — the candidates and the consultants they choose do.
The better analogy is the RNC operates the stadium — we build the infrastructure that candidates use when they step into the arena. We lay the groundwork — we hire the staff and try to help fund the players.
We are all frustrated we have not had more wins since 2016, but the folks who work outside the limelight to build the stadium are not why we Republicans lose races we all think we should win. It is much more complicated than is being presented or meets the eye.
Nonetheless, we take every one of these disappointments to heart and assess how we can better help our local parties and candidates in the future.
That is why we commenced an after-action review to dig into the disappointments, come up with facts about why our candidates fell short, distribute the learning to local parties and future candidates and develop plans for how we can help the state and local parties get better at supporting candidates — and winning.
No one is better prepared and more motivated to make the changes we need to make than me. I innovated, developed, funded and implemented a plan for victory in Michigan and won. My opponents cannot say that because they have never done any of those things.
My opponents also claim I have been a bad steward of funds. That is nonsense — and it is a shame that there are people on this committee who defame and inflame before they even ask for the facts.
For instance, the RNC paid for 15 separate White House Christmas parties, an Easter Egg roll and other various political events every year during the first four years of my term. The RNC was glad to pay for the expenses for more than 70 political events, so that the taxpayers did not foot the bill.
Even President Trump’s team has come out and said that much of the RNC spending being discussed “came at the direction of the White House,” going so far as to say “those spreading falsehoods” are “being misleading and disingenuous.”
I respect my opponents, but I do not respect their approach to this campaign. Do not tear down the organization to run it. We are into performance, not performance art.
But we are not done. We will make the RNC better. We will learn why our candidates lost, reorganize our field training, re-energize our fundraising, run a fair Presidential primary and put on a blockbuster convention for the next President of the United States.
Ronna Romney McDaniel is chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
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