Trump’s quiet war with Mitt Romney’s niece over the soul of the GOP

by WorldTribune Staff, August 24, 2020

President Donald Trump wanted the 2020 Republican Party platform to be a “short form” 4-page statement of principles.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, who is Mitt Romney’s niece and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, preferred to go with the 54-page 2016 platform.

President Donald Trump and Ronna Romney McDaniel

Prior to the Republican National Convention kicking off on Monday, the Republican National Committee issued a resolution stating that due to constraints on the size of this year’s convention, it would not be adopting a new party platform, leaving in place the one from 2016.

“The RNC has unanimously voted to forego the Convention Committee on Platform, in appreciation of the fact that it did not want a small contingent of delegates formulating a new platform without the breadth of perspectives within the ever-growing Republican movement,” the resolution says.

Republicans announced in June that they would not draft a new platform, continuing with the old one. At the time, Trump said that he would prefer “a new and updated platform,” even if it was shorter than usual.

“The Republican Party has not yet voted on a Platform. No rush. I prefer a new and updated Platform, short form, if possible,” Trump tweeted on June 12.

The 2016 platform doesn’t have any language on issues such as racial justice and police reform or statements in opposition to defunding police departments.

Washington Times columnist Ralph Z. Hallow noted that Trump’s platform would have been “built around his novel idea of having an American president and his party put America’s interests first. That idea includes moving heaven and earth to keep or bring back home strategic industries.”

But, Hallow wrote, “who cares what he wants? He is merely a U.S. president seeking re-election. McDaniel’s Republican National Committee exists to make that happen. You would think the RNC cares about what he wants. Somebody might actually read a short platform that succinctly brags on the president and his accomplishments in office.

“But forget about it. Mrs. McDaniel is determined to drag the 2016 platform’s 54 pages, cobwebbed but intact, onto the stage in Charlotte. She reasons that to do otherwise would invite a civil war among Republicans who normally help write the quadrennial platform.”

The 2020 platform committee never met due to covid concerns.

The war that McDaniel feels was sure to break out would have been “among Republicans who normally make the case for this or that social or economic issue. And they would turn into peaceful rioters if they find out Mrs. McDaniel let someone add something without their knowledge and consent — or that they didn’t write themselves,” Hallow wrote.

What about a pre-release conference call with the platform people the night before to explain the incorporation of Trump’s principles and achievements?

“Nope, that would not placate the platform crowd, Mrs. McDaniel insists. There would be war!” Hallow wrote.

“Doesn’t anyone think it a bit odd that there’ll be no trace of Trump DNA in a party platform meant to kick off the fall election campaign, especially when the only purpose of that campaign is to keep the Donald and his new Republican Party atop the heap and leading the nation?”

A civil war within the GOP “would distract from the heavenly aura of all-for-one, one-for-all unity the White House, Trump campaign and RNC want to convey in their Monday through Thursday mostly-virtual convention. At least, that’s what Mrs. McDaniel told her party,” Hallow noted.

“Normally, the presidential nominee or the president seeking a second term and his campaign organization dictate to the RNC where and when to jump and how high. Not this time. Is it because the RNC runs smoother than the Trump re-election campaign?

“Even if that’s true, the RNC itself is scared of its own shadow. With Mrs. McDaniel at the party’s helm, Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and has lost special elections. Now it’s the presidency at stake.”

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