BERNALILLO, N.M. – In a move that some observers have likened to proclaiming the sky is blue, Republican National Committee members are poised to pass a resolution affirming their support of President Donald Trump.
Meantime, the seemingly daily delivery of Democratic White House hopefuls is a scene that many Republicans gathered at a New Mexico resort this week want to avoid on their side.
“I think if you look at what the president has sowed over the last two years – the leadership and what he’s implemented to help all Americans rise, and that’s something that the RNC has been about,” Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald told Fox News.
On Wednesday, members of the RNC’s resolutions committee moved forward on one of two proposals declaring their support for the president. A competing proposal that also would have formally supported the president’s renomination in 2020 was blocked; the successful measure is set to go before the full party Friday.
Backers of the tabled measure expressed disappointment wishing the party would do all it could to clear a path for Trump. Nonetheless, there appeared to be little appetite among members for a direct challenge.
“Everybody here loves this president. How could you not,” RNC Committeewoman Tamara Scott from Iowa told Fox News. “We are appreciative of this president and we appreciate his support of the American people.”
Another RNC member told Fox News the tabled declaration was too similar to the formal support Democratic officials offered Hillary Clinton during the last cycle’s competitive primaries and caucuses. That institutional backing was seen by many Democrats as an inappropriate hinderance to the ultimately unsuccessful campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
“We want to make sure that democracy was saved, McDonald said. “We don’t want to do anything like what happened with the DNC last cycle. We want to make sure the RNC is above board. But we are supporting this president.”
Party officials said the resolution doesn’t foreclose a challenge to the president. That’s something they don’t have the power to do. Still, state parties that hold caucuses could decide to go dark in 2020. That has happened in past years in an attempt to protect the incumbent.
The head of Iowa’s state party previously said there will be a caucus in 2020, something that Scott affirmed today. “The beauty of Iowa is, we have such a great turnout,” she said, “not just in our voting but in our caucus participation as well.”
In other business this week, RNC members are expected to approve overwhelmingly the reelection of Ronna McDaniel for a second term as party chair. There are no declared challengers.