In a podcast interview with Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA that aired on Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said he thinks it’s time for “change” and “new blood” at the Republican National Committee and backed Harmeet Dhillon for chairman.
Dhillon challenged current chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who was re-elected to a fourth two-year term on Friday. Mike Lindell of MyPillow fame also ran for the position.
Dhillon wanted to move the headquarters of the operation out of Washington, D.C. among other changes.
“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? It’s more Democrat than San Francisco is,” DeSantis said to Kirk.
DeSantis also called the 2018, 2020, and 2022 election cycles “substandard” for Republicans, and noted that McDaniel was in charge for all of them.
🚨BREAKING: Gov. DeSantis calls for Change at the RNC🚨
“We’ve had 3 substandard election cycles in a row, ’18, ’20, and ’22, and I’d say ’22 was the worst…I think we need a change. I think we need to get some new blood in the RNC. I like what Harmeet Dhillon has said…” pic.twitter.com/dayeCSVtJ0
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 26, 2023
He said “fresh thinking” was in order, and he wanted to see the GOP go in a different direction along the lines of what Dhillon suggested.
“We need to decentralize the RNC out of DC and away from the lobbyists, the consultants, and frankly the beholden politicians who dictate the party’s direction at the expense of what our voters want,” Dhillon’s website for her campaign said. “I’d like to see RNC move important operations – fundraising, legal, political, and strategic – out of DC.”
“We need all of us”
Dhillon couldn’t ultimately get enough support to overtake McDaniel, but his candidacy did have an impact. McDaniel said after her victory that she “heard” the grassroots of the party as represented by Dhillon and would work toward unity within the party.
“We need all of us,” McDaniel said, addressing the committee after Dhillon and Lindell onstage with her. “We heard you, grassroots. We know. We heard Harmeet; we heard Mike Lindell… [W]ith us united and all of us joining together, the Democrats are going to hear us in 2024.”
Dhillon said she also wanted to work together for unity but warned that the grassroots movement would not respond if it felt it was being ignored.
“We did not expect this to become a national grassroots movement,” she said. “So I’m committed to healing and coming together with folks, but at the end of the day, if our party is perceived as totally out of touch with the grassroots — which I think some may take away from this outcome — we have some work to do.”
Kirk not a help
Politico seemed to think that Charlie Kirk’s strong support for Dhillon didn’t help his candidacy.
The outlet wasn’t sure if DeSantis’s support made any difference.