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Tipsheet

Did Harmeet Dhillon Just Get the Boost She Needs for RNC Race With This Key Show of Support?

Harmeet Dhillon

This week, 168 Republican National Committee (RNC) members are meeting to elect their chair, whether that means reelecting Ronna McDaniel, or going with someone new, such as attorney Harmeet Dhillon who serves as the CEO of the Center for American Liberty and co-chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association. While many have argued that it's time for a change, including and especially Kurt Schlichter in his columns for Townhall, McDaniel nevertheless appears to have the support to be chosen again. A potential game changing endoresement came through on Thursday afternoon, though, when Gov. Ron DeSantis backed Dhillon during a radio interview with Charlie Kirk. 

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The interview aired on Thursday, but was shared with Fox News beforehand. 

"We’ve had three sub-standard election cycles in a row--'18, '20 and '22--and I would say of all three of those, '22 was probably the worst given the political environment of a very unpopular President Biden," DeSantis said. "Huge majorities of the people think the country is going in the wrong direction." 

Saying more about 2022, DeSantis pointed out that "that is an environment that is tailor-made to make big gains in the House and the Senate and state houses all across the country and yet that didn’t happen, and in fact, we even lost ground in the U.S. Senate."

DeSantis won reelection in November of 2022 by nearly 20 points, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) similarly winning another term by over 16 points. When it comes to those midterms overall, though, Democrats did far better than expected. McDaniel was in charge then, just as she was for those other election cycles DeSantis mentioned.

The governor also addressed his own race with regards to involvement from the RNC, or lackthereof. As mentioned in the Fox News report:

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DeSantis said that for his second successful gubernatorial campaign in 2022, his team assumed they "weren’t going to be involved with the RNC at all, because they weren’t raising the kind of money they needed to be raising." 

"Our get-out-the-vote and ground operation – we funded that. We focused a lot on low-propensity voters," DeSantis explained, saying they were "very successful." "But that was really being driven by our agenda, our accomplishments, and us putting a lot of dollars behind this important ground game."

As for the RNC, DeSantis said it "needs to be less consultant-driven." 

"This money that’s going in needs to go to ultimately winning elections, and not to be lining the pockets of so many consultants," he said. "So, we need huge transparency on that." 

DeSantis said one of the reasons he was successful was because his voters trusted him.

"There is not a lot of trust between the grassroots and the RNC up in D.C.," DeSantis said, noting that when he has held fundraisers for the GOP, he has done well, but when he holds fundraisers for himself, instead of the party, "we raise much more money."

"And so, I think we need a change. I think we need to get some new blood in the RNC," which includes supporting Dhillon, pointing to remarks she's made. "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 is more Democrat than San Francisco is."

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As a matter of "some fresh thinking," DeSantis suggested moving the RNC to another part of the country and mentioned that "I think it is going to be very difficult to energize people to give money and to want to volunteer their time with the RNC if they don’t see a change in direction."

"I think it is going to be very difficult to energize people to give money and to want to volunteer their time with the RNC if they don’t see a change in direction," DeSantis said.

About DeSantis' comments made during the interview, Kirk told Fox News that "my hope is that the 168 members of the RNC hear what he has to say loud and clear."

Both McDaniel and Dhillon have published columns with Townhall making the case for why they are the right woman for the job. 

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