RNC chairwoman previews Dem convention week plans, ‘surprised’ Harris accepted Biden VP offer

EXCLUSIVE: Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel argued the GOP will “outshine” the Democrats during the DNC convention next week with its rapid response strategy and on-the-ground campaigning in battleground states.

During an exclusive interview with Fox News Friday, McDaniel previewed the RNC’s plans during the Democratic Convention, saying Republicans have a “multi-pronged response.”


Trump Victory, the joint field effort between the RNC and the Trump Campaign, are planning more than 2,500 events in battleground states across the country next week, including the Trump Victory Leadership Initiative, trainings on voter contact and voter registration, MAGA meet-ups, watch parties and other volunteer events.

“We’re going to have rapid response every day,” McDaniel said. “The president will be in Wisconsin. Joe Biden won’t, but the president will be there.”

The president will campaign in key general election battleground states next week, holding events in Minnesota and Wisconsin on Monday and Arizona on Tuesday.

While the Trump campaign has not announced the president’s travel for next Thursday, campaign officials confirmed to Fox News that Trump is expected to visit Scranton, Pa. – the city where Biden was born and spent his early years. The trip should come hours before Biden is scheduled to give his presidential nomination acceptance address, which will be the biggest speech of his half-century career in politics.

McDaniel said President Trump is making the point that “we can open up our country, we can do it in a safe and secure way, we can get out and talk to people, social distance, wear masks, and do the things that we’re being told to do.”

She added: “We have to start working. We have to start living again. And Joe Biden and the Democrats are saying we’ve got to be locked up in our basements forever, and that’s just not realistic.”


She added: “We’re going to knock on a million doors with our volunteers next week, and Joe Biden and the Democrats will knock zero doors.”

The RNC said they have “1.9 million volunteers” and are on pace to “surpass the 2.2 million the widely-heralded Obama field operation had in 2012.”

To kick off the DNC’s week, the RNC said they launched TheRealJoe.com, a website designed to “expose Joe Biden’s disastrous record, hypocrisy, and flawed vision for America.”

“It’s going to be a big week for Republicans, and we’ll outline the DNC during their convention, just to head into our convention, which will be really exciting,” she said.

The Democratic National Committee announced that their convention will be largely virtual, and will be anchored in Milwaukee, from Monday, Aug. 17 through 20.

“We’re going to be campaigning all week next week,” McDaniel said. “And we’re not going to give any ground away to the Democrats during their convention.”

She added: “They may have a virtual reality show with their Hollywood A-list celebrities and their big tech giants from Silicon Valley, but we’re gonna be out with the real people of America, talking about why they need to re-elect Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, McDaniel said she was “surprised” that Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., accepted former Vice President Joe Biden’s offer to be his running mate.

“I’m surprised Kamala Harris accepted to be on the Biden ticket, considering she called him a racist, sexist, and some other things about him during the primary process,” she said. “I think I would automatically exclude her from wanting tp run with Joe Biden—if she really believed those things about him.”

McDaniel went on to say Harris “represents the most radical left-wing progressive Democrat Party that we’ve ever seen.”

“I think she’s an extreme, poor choice for Joe Biden,” McDaniel said. “And she’s not going to resonate in the heart of the country.”

Meanwhile, McDaniel said she feels it is “important” for U.S. Attorney John Durham to complete his investigation before the election in November, just hours after the first criminal charges in his case surfaced.

“We've waited a long time. And it is unfortunate that it's taken years to uncover the abuses of the Obama administration, not just in the FISA warrant, spying on the Trump campaign, but also the intentional decision to go after Michael Flynn that went to the very highest levels, even to Joe Biden,” she said. “And we don't want this to happen in our country. Have an administration say you're going to spy on and hurt the campaign of our political adversaries. I think this has not gotten enough attention. And I don't think the American people recognize how truly egregious this was in my mind.”

She added: “And I hope we get more and more of these revelations and what we're seeing from John Durham, more of his  indictments come out as we get closer to the election, because we do need to know this  before November. I think it's important.”

McDaniel’s comments come after Durham charged former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith with false statements, after Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the Justice Department's inspector general's office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.

Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was "not a source" for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The DOJ relied on that assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Clinesmith is being charged in federal court in Washington and is expected to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement, his attorney Justin Shur told The Associated Press.