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Exclusive ? McDaniel Quells Concerns over Alleged Primary Interference

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Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in a Tuesday interview with Breitbart News swatted away concerns from several Republicans that the party’s intervention against Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate David McCormick’s post-election lawsuit is a sign the party has broader plans for interference in open primaries.The RNC has a longstanding practice of neutrality in open primaries, and the party’s decisions to intervene against litigation from McCormick raised more than a few eyebrows among Republicans concerned the RNC might start engaging heavily for or against candidates in primaries. McCormick’s suit filed this week seeks to have such ballots counted in this race as well, and state elections officials at the Secretary of State’s office have ordered counties to count these votes but keep them separate from their formal tallies while the litigation plays out and the recount formally commences.Then, late Monday evening, the RNC and the Pennsylvania GOP formally filed interventions against McCormick in his suit—a rare, perhaps unprecedented, action for the national Republican Party to file formal legal action in court against one of its candidates in an as-of-yet-undecided open GOP primary for federal office.“I don’t view this as going against Republicans at all,” McDaniel told Breitbart News. Our voters watched election laws be upended in 2020 and we are going to fight to make sure every state follows the rule of law because that’s what our party is and because we do not want to set a precedent that hurts us in the Senate race in November.”While McDaniel says the RNC action here is consistent with the party’s litigation efforts on behalf of its push for election integrity, she says that this does not represent the party intervening in a GOP primary for or against a particular candidate.“To say that we’re intervening is factually incorrect,” McDaniel said.When Breitbart News noted that the action the RNC took here was against a lawsuit that McCormick—a candidate in said primary—filed in court, McDaniel said that the RNC’s actions do not amount to influencing a primary.“That has nothing to do with McCormick,” she said. Before McDaniel’s interview on this matter, several advisers to sitting lawmakers and to other candidates in other states nationwide told Breitbart News of their concern with this.“The RNC is supposed to be neutral in open primaries—it’s wildly inappropriate to be intervening against a conservative Republican candidate,” one U.S. Senate GOP aide told Breitbart News, for instance.“A good rule for the RNC to follow is to stay out of contested primaries,” another GOP official who is unaffiliated with the McCormick campaign but advising several other Republicans nationwide added. I would say to every single Republican, if it were a Democrat right now saying ‘let’s change the rules and change the laws after the election, and let’s count undated ballots which is against the law in the State of Pennsylvania,’ Republicans would be expecting the RNC to fight. The only way we will be credible fighting issues like this in November, which are sure to come up, is if we are consistent which we have been because we have been pushing this in Pennsylvania for a year.”Later, she added that while this is a “unique situation,” the RNC will fight for election integrity and may end up in other litigation down the road in primaries even though she does not expect this often.“Anything that undermines the laws on the books that are supposed to be enforced that govern the election that every state goes in expecting to follow, we’ll be supporting, upholding those laws,” McDaniel said.When asked what she would tell the approximately 418,000 Republicans who voted for McCormick in the GOP primary in Pennsylvania who might be upset that the party is intervening against his lawsuit, McDaniel argued that they would, in her view, support the RNC on this matter.“I’m hearing very different things,” McDaniel said.

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