Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticized her uncle, incoming Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), on Wednesday for publishing an op-ed on New Year’s Day blasting President Trump. Romney’s actions have sparked concerns he will try to make a primary run in 2020.
“POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive,” McDaniel tweeted:
POTUS is attacked and obstructed by the MSM media and Democrats 24/7. For an incoming Republican freshman senator to attack @realdonaldtrump as their first act feeds into what the Democrats and media want and is disappointing and unproductive. https://t.co/ArhI7Bi7bo
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 2, 2019
McDaniel’s tweet was seen as an early attempt by the GOP to quash potential primary challengers, but it remains to be seen if action will back up her rhetoric.
Jevon O.A. Williams, U.S. Virgin Islands national committeeman on the RNC, sent out a strongly worded email to fellow RNC members on Tuesday. He called for the RNC to amend its rules at the organization’s meeting later this month and thereby discourage potential challengers from running against Trump.
In an email obtained by Breitbart News, he wrote:
My friends, you know what’s going to happen. Messrs. Romney, Flake, and Kasich will continue chasing their fantasy of being president, even if that means destroying our party and denying President Trump re-election. Look, the political history is clear. No Republican president opposed for re-nomination has ever won re-election.
“Unfortunately, loopholes in the rules governing the 2020 renomination campaign are enabling these so-called Republicans to flirt with the possibility of contested primaries and caucuses,” he said.
He argued that while Trump would win renomination, it “wouldn’t come quick and it wouldn’t be inexpensive.”
“Any contested re-nomination campaign—even a forlorn hope—would only help Democrats,” he said.
Williams also asked for a resolution declaring the RNC’s “unanimous and unequivocal endorsement of President Trump for re-nomination.”
“This resolution would also declare him the presumptive nominee in 2020. I intend for both of these items to be acted upon at the winter meeting later this month, including, if necessary, by suspending the rules to take up this business,” he wrote.
Trump sent out a mild rebuke suggesting that Romney was not a team player and would fill the shoes of Jeff Flake, the former Republican senator of Arizona who frequently spoke out against Trump:
Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2019
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a close ally of Trump, criticized Romney in a tweet, calling him a “Big Government Republican.”
“Like other Big Government Republicans who never liked Reagan, Mitt Romney wants to signal how virtuous he is in comparison to the President. Well, I’m most concerned and pleased with the actual conservative reform agenda
@realDonaldTrump has achieved,” he tweeted.