RNC chairwoman McDaniel: ‘We haven’t accomplished the things that we ran on’
Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press/TNS via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, joined ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on the 100th episode of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast to talk North Korea, Donald Trump and the future of the Republican Party.
According to McDaniel, Republicans will need to rack up some accomplishments based on promises they’ve made regarding the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, tax reform and infrastructure if they want to keep control of Congress. “It is hard to go and make the case, ‘give us the majority again,’ when we haven’t accomplished the things that we ran on,” McDaniel said.
Contrary to comments made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday that President Trump has set “excessive expectations” for legislative action, McDaniel says that “The President’s expectations mirror the sentiments of the American people.
“Saying this is as good as we can do just isn’t acceptable when people’s premiums are going up, and deductibles are so high and insurers are pulling out of the marketplace,” McDaniel said, adding that she believes more frustration should be leveled on Democrats for creating Obamacare in the first place.
McDaniel dismissed suspicions that Vice President Mike Pence is preparing a presidential run for 2020. “He has been a partner with this president every step of the way, and is in no way setting up any type of shadow campaign or looking for an opportunity to run against this president,” she said. “He is totally committed to serving President Trump and the American people.”
While the RNC avoids taking positions in primary elections, McDaniel does not anticipate any Republicans challenging Trump in the next election, unless they make an independent run. “I just can’t imagine thinking that the party would go against an incumbent president,” McDaniel said.
Though it is rare for a serious challenger to run against an incumbent president of their own party, it happened in the cases of Pat Buchanan taking on George H. W. Bush in 1992 and of Ronald Reagan challenging Gerald Ford in 1976. But neither Ford nor Bush had approval ratings as low as Trump’s as they were being challenged.
“And it’s not much different than the day he got elected,” McDaniel said of the President’s relatively low rating. Indeed, according to Gallup, 36 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job as president, a number that matches the favorability rating found by Gallup the week before he was elected.
Asked about Trump’s recent threat of “fire and fury like the world has never seen” to North Korea if it continues to threaten the United States, McDaniel contrasted the current administration to that of President Barack Obama.
“Clearly [Kim Jong Un] was much farther along than the Obama administration had expected,” she said. “President Trump is saying if you attack the United States, if you attack our allies, there will be consequences.”
Chairwoman McDaniel ended her appearance on the podcast by praising musician Kid Rock, though she personally doubts he will run for Senate. “People who aren’t from Michigan don’t understand how much he’s given back to the community of Michigan,” she said. “He’s one of those people who succeeded and stayed in the state and always has given back to the community and championed not just Michigan but Detroit.”
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