CONFIRMED: The RNC Refused to Spend Money in VA, McDaniel Refuses to Accept Responsibility

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As we do a forensic analysis of what went wrong in Virginia this election cycle — and there’s plenty of blame to go around — one fact that can’t be ignored is that the Republican National Committee denied the Republican Party of Virginia’s request for money.

This isn’t up for debate. News of the RNC’s refusal to provide financial assistance surfaced well before the election, with RPV officials meeting with Ronna McDaniel’s staff at the RNC to request a match for how much the Democrat National Committee was committing to their state party. That match would have added a cool $1M to the RPV’s war chest. 

This meeting took place over the summer, and the RPV’s request was turned down flat by the RNC. Not only would they not be getting that $1 million match, they wouldn’t be getting any money at all.

Keep in mind that at the time the meeting took place the Virginia GOP was holding on by a thread to their lead in the House of Delegates and were in striking distance of taking the Senate. You don’t need a political science degree to know that the more resources you pour into a campaign, the better the outcome. A financial commitment from the national party could have made a huge difference in several close races.

It’s also important to note that Glenn Youngkin’s 2021 gubernatorial win was a rare bright spot for Republicans, in general, who’ve had less-than-stellar results under Ronna McDaniel’s tenure at the RNC. That alone should’ve been enough reason for the national party to get involved, both to win in 2023 and to get primed for 2024. 

But that didn’t happen, and it seems now that Ronna McDaniel refuses to acknowledge that her RNC sat this one out and deflected any responsibility for Tuesday’s results.

Townhall’s Larry O’Connor, who also hosts a morning show on DC radio, grabbed a short interview with McDaniel after Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate. O’Connor asked her about the results in Virginia, and she made the astonishing claim that the state hadn’t asked for any help.

LARRY O’CONNOR: What’s your analysis of the results in Virginia, though?
RONNA MCDANIEL: You know, the RNC is not a state committee. We’re a federal committee, right? Your candidates can take unlimited state dollars and your governor can take unlimited state dollars. And he actually said, ‘We don’t need you guys here.’ 

Wait, what? Financial assistance was most definitely requested and denied. By her. 

What’s the deal here? The deal is that Youngkin has his own PAC, Spirit of Virginia, that pours financial resources into statewide campaigns. It’s possible that his PAC didn’t seek help from the national party, but it’s abundantly clear that the RPV did ask for help. It seems that, in making her statement to O’Connor, Ronna McDaniel is trying to deflect her role in Tuesday’s failures and placing the results directly on the shoulders of Glenn Youngkin.

If true, it was a supremely unhelpful way for McDaniel to handle the matter.

Rich Anderson, chairman of the RPV, appeared on O’Connor’s show Friday morning and confirmed that he had met with McDaniel’s staff, requested financial support, and walked away from the meeting with nothing.

Anderson provided other details on his talks with the RNC, saying he was told that they didn’t have the resources to help in an off-cycle election because they are “gearing up” for 2024. Apparently, the best way to gear up for 2024 is to ignore an important battleground state in 2023.

The money quote from Anderson:

“The last thing I would do is say: ‘We don’t need your help.'”

The question, then, is why is Ronna McDaniel inferring that they did? The Spirit of Virginia PAC is not the Republican Party of Virginia. She knows that. She also knew where O’Connor was going with his question and deflected taking any responsibility for the disappointing outcome by, essentially, blaming Glenn Youngkin. The same Glenn Youngkin who defied the odds to beat Terry McAuliffe, campaigned tirelessly to help Republicans win in 2023 and has helped return Virginia to battleground status. 

Sure, let’s blame him. With McDaniel’s apparent deflection on the issue, it does call into question what “gearing up” for 2024 looks like if the 2023 game plan was to sit on the sidelines and let non-RNC groups carry the burden of trying to win alone.

You can hear Larry O’Connor’s entire interview with Rich Thompson here.

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