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Speaking on Shapiro’s popular podcast and radio show Friday, the conservative attorney said she is challenging RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in order to inject new life into an organization on a five-year losing streak. Dhillon, founder of the Center for American Liberty, is one of two conservatives opposing McDaniel’s bid for a fourth consecutive two-year term.
“To be very fair, [McDaniel] is one of many players in Republican politics,” Dhillon said. “And so the RNC has a specific role. She’s the leader of the organization. And I think in the last six years, of course, there are candidates who may or may not have made great choices. But overall, our party is supposed to provide the air cover and lay the groundwork for candidates to have the best chance of winning.”
Republicans lost the House in 2018, the presidential election and the Senate in 2020, and barely captured the House in November’s elections despite predictions of a “red wave.”
“I’ve said from very early after the election that you don’t get to lose three consecutive election cycles and keep your job,” Shapiro said.
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) December 20, 2022
The RNC is scheduled to meet in Jan. 27 in California, where 168 party delegates representing 50 states and six territories will vote on the chair. In addition to Dhillon, businessman and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is seeking the post.
“I’ve already received a tremendous outpouring of support,” said Dhillon, adding that voters, donors and members of Congress have reached out to her to offer their backing. “This is very much doable. It’s a horse race, and we are working to convert and talk to each member, see what their concerns are, and see if I’m the better candidate to address those concerns.”
The RNC’s biggest failure under McDaniel, Dhillon said, has been not fighting hard enough for election integrity. She said that Democratic super-lawyer Marc Elias has filed suits around the nation aimed at making it easier to cast and collect ballots, even when the so-called “reforms” appear to invite fraud.
“Now we are playing catch-up, but our RNC [leadership] just dismantled most of our election integrity team after the election as if they are seasonal workers who, you know, picked the crop and then they go home,” Dhillon said. “It is a year-round effort on the left, and it has to be a year-round effort, investment, and really vision of the chair to make that happen.”
While Republicans can push for voting integrity measures such as voter ID, no ballot harvesting, and tighter control of mail-in ballots in GOP-led states, Shapiro wondered how the party can compete in blue states where lax oversight of ballots is built into the process and exploited by Democrats.
“Democrats flipped a bunch of seats in 2018 and the Republicans flipped them back in 2022 specifically because people didn’t ignore the way that the law actually worked,” Shapiro noted. “In Florida, instead of trying to militate against, for example, mail-in voting or early voting, [Governor] Ron DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party, they said, ‘Okay, well that’s the law, so let’s just do it.’”
Dhillon, whose law firm represented The Daily Wire in its landmark U.S. Supreme Court victory overturning the Biden administration’s COVID vaccine mandates for private employers, agreed and said the party must take advantage of early voting, a growing practice that Republicans have traditionally been suspicious of.
“There is a dispute in our party between grassroots activists who believe that voting early lets the other side know how many votes you have,” she said. “I think in reality, the Democrats were able to elect virtually unelectable candidates like [Pennsylvania Senator-elect] John Fetterman, like [Arizona Governor-elect] Katie Hobbs, because they knew that no matter what the quality of the candidate was, they were going to get those votes.
“We need to do that,” Dhillon said. “And as I tell grassroots leaders, our message needs to be until we can elect a legislature and a governor who will sign on to the legislatures’ tightened up voting laws, we must beat the Democrats at their own game.”