Curt Flewelling, FISM News
As if the spirited race for the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair was not contentious enough, an eleventh-hour call for “new blood” in the RNC by Governor Ron DeSantis, has made Friday’s vote all the more interesting.
Until Thursday’s bombshell by DeSantis, the vote seemed to be a fait accompli as RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel claimed that she had secured endorsements from more than 100 members of the RNC, far in excess of what she needs to retain her position.
In an interview with Turning Point USA Executive Director Charlie Kirk, the popular Florida governor said, “It is time for a change and for new blood to lead the Republican National Committee.”
“We’ve had three substandard election cycles in a row — ‘18, ‘20, and ‘22 — and I would say of all three of those, ‘22 was probably the worst, given the political environment of a very unpopular President [Joe] Biden,” DeSantis said.
While many Republicans struggled in 2022, DeSantis cruised to victory by almost 20 points in the Florida gubernatorial race.
The new blood that the governor is referring to is Center for American Liberty CEO and California committeewoman for the RNC, Harmeet Dhillon. Dhillon has billed herself as an “outside the beltway” Republican.
DeSantis told Kirk, “I like what Harmeet Dhillon has said about getting the RNC out of D.C. Why would you want to have your headquarters in the most Democrat city in America?
McDaniel is seeking her fourth term as RNC Chair and has raised an astonishing $1.5 billion for the GOP during her time as party chair. However, DeSantis asserts that a lot of this money is lining the pockets of Washington consultants and is not being used to win elections.
DeSantis’ tacit endorsement of Dhillon may mean something far more than a desire to shake things up in the Republican party. As the political sparring between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump continues to ratchet up, the governor’s announcement may be a calculated display of decisiveness in the wake of the former president’s hesitance to endorse either McDaniel or Dhillon.
In a pattern we have seen many times, the former president seems to stop short of endorsing candidates when the outcome of their race is less than certain. Both Dhillon and McDaniel have ties to Donald Trump. Trump endorsed McDaniel for party chair in 2016 and is currently a client of Dhillon’s, as she represents him in legal cases.
The latest call for new leadership in the Republican party is just another example of the ongoing tension within the GOP. In the words of Governor DeSantis, “There is not a lot of trust between the grassroots and the RNC up in D.C.”