RNC chair walks back cryptic message to Republicans that they must obey Trump

  • Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said anyone who does not embrace Trump “will be making a mistake.”
  • After facing severe backlash on Twitter, McDaniel clarified remarks by posting a full conversation with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, during which she discussed the Trump agenda.

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel walked back a veiled threat aimed at Republicans who might consider breaking from President Donald Trump after backlash to her authoritative tweet.

“Complacency is our enemy,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “Anyone that does not embrace the @realdonaldtrump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake.”

The tweet prompted backlash from traditional conservatives, liberals, and more. Initially, it was unclear if McDaniel was referring to just Republicans running for office or the US as a whole.

McDaniel clarified the tweet by noting her remarks during an appearance on the Fox Business Network on Wednesday night, saying Twitter’s 280-character limit hindered her ability to offer full context.

When FBN host Lou Dobbs was skewering House Speaker Paul Ryan for wanting to cut entitlement spending, McDaniel said, “The House has delivered some really good legislation this year.”

“We have got a lot more to do, and we cannot risk losing that in these midterms,” McDaniel added. “So, complacency is going to be our enemy, and anyone who doesn’t embrace the Trump agenda and doesn’t recognise the issues that propelled us to victory in the White House, is going to be making a mistake.”

McDaniel also noted that Republicans “have got to talk about jobs, we have got to talk about the economy, we have got to talk about fair trade.”

“That is important part of our success,” she said. “We have got talk about immigration and the wall and our borders, and those are going to be things our voters are going to expect to hear from all of our candidates.”

Some Republicans fear the GOP is becoming ‘cult-like’

Some Republicans have suggested that the GOP has transformed into a “cult-like” atmosphere, in which swearing fealty to Trump is all that matters, even if that requires breaking from long-held conservative policy.

“It’s almost, it’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it?” said Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker. “It’s not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of, purportedly, of the same party.”

Rep. Mark Sanford, a conservative who has sometimes criticised Trump administration policy, lost his South Carolina primary fight against a Trump loyalist on Tuesday.

During a Thursday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sanford said, “I’ve never before had a question of allegiance to a person, rather than allegiance to the flag and Constitution, and to a degree that’s what this race came down to.”

“We swear an allegiance to the Constitution and we pledge allegiance to the flag and what was weird about this race that I’ve never experienced before in any race I’ve been a part of was an allegiance question where people say, ‘Are you for or against the president?'” Sanford added.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.