CPAC: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Harangues Conservative Base for 2018 Midterms

Ronna McDaniel
Carlos Osorio/AP

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel took the main stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to energize her activist base for the 2018 midterm elections.

“Stay engaged, we’re going to need you in 2018,” McDaniel told the CPAC crowd, asking them to repeat their heroic effort that delivered the 2016 presidential election, seemingly against all odds.

McDaniel was pragmatic about the challenge her party will face in 2018, noting only three times in the last century has a party that just won the White House kept the House of Representatives in the following midterm. She was reluctant, however, to admit any “enthusiasm gap” with Democrats. She described her rival DNC’s platform as “resist and obstruct.”

“It’s not a vision, but it’s uniting,” she said, adding  it will take activist engagement to overcome.

“We are the party of a vision,” McDaniel insisted, but noted, “As quickly as we gained this in a one-year turn around, we can lose it.”

McDaniel was also highly critical of efforts by the left to create favorable redistricting maps for themselves in advance of the 2018 elections. She was particularly upset over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s unilateral imposition of a Democrat-favoring map, a move she called “extreme judicial overreach.” Republicans are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Looking forward to 2018, however, McDaniel presented some reasons for Republicans to be optimistic, touting “500,000 new small dollar donors since President Trump has taken office.”

“We have raised the most money of any political party in history in an off-year election cycle at the RNC, $132 million,” McDaniel said, citing a record fundraising effort that her co-chair Bob Paduchik credited to President Trump’s draw on Breitbart News Saturday this month.

“We are the most prepared we have ever been in a midterm election,” McDaniels claimed.

“We cannot go back, we need to fight for our future, we need every single one of you,” McDaniels told the assembled activists.