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 SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R-S.C.) and Joe WalshJoe WalshWalsh plans protest at RNC headquarters over 'nakedly anti-Democratic' primary cancellations Pelosi announced as lead guest on season premiere of 'Real Time with Bill Maher' Rep. Collins says Democrats are 'in love with terrorists,' 'mourn Soleimani' MORE (R-Ill.) and former Gov. William WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldWeld says Trump wants reporters to 'roam free' in Iran, but not US Trump primary challengers left off Wisconsin ballot Bannon: 'We need the Republican establishment on board' to reelect Trump 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