RNC spokeswoman on 2020 GOP primary cancellations: 'This is not abnormal'

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Cassie Smedile on Monday downplayed the decision of some GOP-led states to scrap their 2020 Republican nominating contests.

Earlier this month, Republican parties in a handful of states — including, South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas — moved to cancel their presidential primaries, but Smedile says the move is not anything out of the ordinary. 

“This is not abnormal,” Smedile, said in response to the move, while making an appearance on Hill.TV.

She cited past canceled primaries for incumbent presidents like former presidents Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

Smedile maintained that RNC officials play no role in a state’s decision to hold a Republican presidential primary, but emphasized that Trump’s support is still strong among his Republican base and it wouldn’t make sense to hold nominating contests.

“This person in the White House is incredibly popular and our party writ large likes where we’re heading in this country,” she said. “It’s not that people are not allowed to do it, it’s just, do you have a viable path to really make a run for it and the data does not bear that out.”

The decision to cancel primaries has been blasted by all three of Trump’s Republican challengers.

Former Reps. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordTrump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special Weather Channel to talk climate change with 2020 candidates Trump accuses media, Democrats of going 'crazy' over G-7 at his Miami resort MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe WalshJoe WalshTrump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special Weather Channel to talk climate change with 2020 candidates GOP presidential challengers condemn decision to host G-7 at Trump resort MORE (R-Ill.) and former Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldTrump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special Weather Channel to talk climate change with 2020 candidates Trump accuses media, Democrats of going 'crazy' over G-7 at his Miami resort MORE (R-Mass.) penned a joint op-ed in The Washington Post last week slamming the move.

“What does this say about the Republican Party? If a party stands for nothing but reelection, it indeed stands for nothing,” they wrote. “Our next nominee must compete in the marketplace of ideas, values and leadership.”

— Tess Bonn