Republican leaders looked to turn down the temperature Tuesday night with former President Trump amid a back-and-forth with the former president over the party’s use of his name and likeness in its fundraising efforts.
The chairs of the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released a joint statement maintaining they look forward to working with Trump heading into the midterm elections in an apparent attempt to deescalate a feud that broke open over the weekend and has quickly picked up national attention.
“The RNC, NRSC and NRCC are grateful for President Trump’s support, both past and future. Through his powerful agenda, we were able to break fundraising records and elect Republicans up and down the ballot. Together, we look forward to working with President Trump to retake our Congressional majorities and deliver results for the American people,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel; Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the NRSC chairman; and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the NRCC.
The joint statement came just hours after Trump put out a statement berating “RINOs and fools” while maintaining he supports the Republican Party.
“I fully support the Republican Party and important GOP Committees, but I do not support RINOs and fools, and it is not their right to use my likeness or image to raise funds,” Trump said, using the acronym for “Republicans in name only.”
Trump’s lawyers first sent out cease-and-desist letters last week to the three Republican bodies telling them they must scrub Trump’s name and likeness from their fundraising and merchandising efforts. The three organs make up the largest fundraising bodies for the GOP.
The RNC earlier this week waved away the letter, maintaining that referencing the former president was well within its First Amendment rights.
However, Trump fired off two blistering statements later in the week — including the one Tuesday — underscoring that he had no intention of letting any of the three groups off the hook from his demand.
The joint statement’s change in tone underscores the outsized sway Trump still holds in the Republican Party. While his national approval rating has fallen since he left office, polls show the Republican grassroots remain overwhelmingly loyal to him, making it in the GOP’s best interest to not allow their ties with Trump to fray too much.
Trump has already heavily inserted himself into the 2022 midterms beyond his fundraising feud, issuing a slate of endorsements. While most of the candidates he’s backed have been sitting lawmakers, he has endorsed a primary challenger to Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and vowed to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), both of whom backed his impeachment over his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Via The Hill