During an interview on Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seemed to support Harmeet Dhillon’s campaign to take over as the new chairman of the Republican National Committee.
DeSantis made his comments one day before the RNC committee members cast secret ballots for party positions, including the chairperson.
DeSantis stated in an interview that the RNC “has to acquire some new blood. I agree with Harmeet Dhillon’s comments on moving the RNC out of Washington, D.C. Why would you choose to locate your headquarters in the American city with the highest Democrat vote? More Democrats reside there than in San Francisco.”
During the interview, DeSantis criticized RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s performance and said that while she was in charge, the GOP had three unsuccessful election cycles.
“Given the political climate of an extremely unpopular President Biden and the fact that vast majorities of the populace believe the country is headed in the wrong direction,” DeSantis said, “We’ve had three subpar election cycles in a row, ’18, ’20, and ’22, and I’d say among all three of those, ’22 was probably the worst. This is a setting that’s ideal to make significant gains in the House, Senate, and state legislatures around the nation, but that didn’t happen.”
DeSantis stated that the party requires “new thinking and that you need grassroots Republicans to energize this organization with volunteers and money, just realistically speaking.”
“If they don’t perceive a shift in direction,” DeSantis added, “I believe it’s going to be extremely difficult to motivate folks to want to donate money or to want to contribute their time with the RNC.”
DeSantis responded that his team “ran our election, believing we weren’t going to be associated with the RNC at all” when questioned about his interactions with the RNC.
DeSantis said that his own get out the vote campaign and ground strategy were the main contributors to his resounding victory in the state.
As a result, DeSantis added, “it was incredibly successful, but that was actually being driven by our agendas, our wins, and us putting a lot of money behind this crucial ground game.”
DeSantis said that in order to better serve the demands of the electorate, the Republican Party must stop being so “consultant driven.”
“This money ought to go into actually winning elections rather than into the pockets of so many consultants,” he said. “There must be much openness in this. Incentives cannot be used to direct campaigns and operations in a way that benefits the consultant class by increasing their financial gain. They are certainly quite influential in Washington, D.C.”
“The RNC in Washington, D.C., and the grassroots don’t have a lot of confidence in one another. In fact, when I would raise money for the Republican Party of Florida, we would perform well. However, if I had raised money for myself instead of the party, we would have raised a lot more money because people tend to trust those who they perceive as performing the job.” he said.