Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sardonically opened the door to potential GOP challengers to President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, but warned that “they will lose horribly.”
McDaniel told the crowd gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that potential Republican primary challengers “have the right to jump in, that’s fine, they will lose horribly” to Trump.
McDaniel cited Trump’s approval ratings within the Republican Party as a main reason why – a CNN poll from last month shows 81% of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing.
“The country is booming,” McDaniel said. “Jobs are coming back, wages are up, our military has been strengthened, our veterans have been taken care of, our trade deals are stronger, we have put rule of law judges at every level of the court, including the Supreme Court with (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh and (Justice Neil) Gorsuch.”
She added, “What would any Republican be thinking, saying this is a guy I’m going to run against? So have at it, go ahead, waste your money, waste your time, and go ahead and lose.”
McDaniel’s comments come after one potential challenger, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, recently accused the RNC of shielding Trump from a potential primary.
“Typically they try to be fair arbiters of a process and I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve been involved in the Republican Party for most of my life,” Hogan told Politico. “It’s unprecedented. And in my opinion it’s not the way we should be going about our politics.”
Another Republican, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, has announced an exploratory committee on a possible presidential run in 2020 as well and called Trump a “schoolyard bully.”
The RNC passed a resolution in January pledging its “undivided support” for Trump.