RNC unanimously pledges ‘undivided support’ for Trump, stops short of explicit 2020 endorsement
The Republican National Committee unanimously voted Friday to offer the GOP’s “undivided support for President Donald J. Trump and his effective Presidency.”
Members passed the largely symbolic resolution during the RNC’s regular winter meeting near Albuquerque, New Mexico, affirming their support for Mr. Trump two years into his administration.
“As you know, there’s been so much belittling and that kind of thing going on, Washington elites attacking the president, and that’s the focus of mine, to give him support, give him encouragement,” said Carolyn McLarty, the RNC committeewoman from Oklahoma and the resolution’s primary sponsor.
“I didn’t need to go beyond that,” Ms. McLarty told the Washington Examiner, the outlet reported.
Mr. Trump reacted to the resolution’s passing from his Twitter account Saturday morning, tweeting: “Thank you to the Republican National Committee, (the RNC), who voted UNANIMOUSLY yesterday to support me in the upcoming 2020 Election.”
A competing resolution outright endorsing Mr. Trump’s renomination was considered by the RNC’s rules committee but killed before being brought to a vote.
Introduced by Jevon Williams, the RNC committeeman for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the failed resolution seeking to renominate Mr. Trump more than 600 days until Election Day was “necessary because too many so-called Republicans use our party’s name and collaborate with the liberal mainstream media to sow the seeds of disunity,” its sponsor wrote in an email seeking support from colleagues, BuzzFeed reported.
“I am asking for your support to take the unprecedented step of amending the rules to close loopholes in the re-nomination campaign,” wrote Mr. Williams in a letter to fellow RNC members, first reported by The Washington Examiner.
“We must send the message that we support President Trump for re-nomination,” wrote Mr. Williams, according to BuzzFeed. “Simply stating our support for his presidency, as some would have us do, is not enough. The failure to pass a resolution supporting his re-nomination and re-election will be seen by some as a sign that we would welcome Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Larry Hogan or another Never Trumper challenging President Trump in the primaries, caucuses and conventions.”
The failed measure proposed by Mr. Williams “was foolishly drafted and not well thought out,” said Ron Kaufman, a RNC committee member from Massachusetts, BuzzFeed reported.
Mr. Trump filed re-election paperwork within hours of becoming president in January 2017. No other Republicans have announced plans to challenge him in the 2020 race, though several Democrats revealed their intention within the last month, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, among others.