RNC chair: Kasich, Hogan 'have the right to jump in and lose' to Trump

RNC chair: Kasich, Hogan 'have the right to jump in and lose' to Trump
© Greg Nash

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel on Thursday waved off a possible primary challenge to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE, saying that whoever takes on the president will “lose horribly.”

Asked at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) what would happen if a Republican, like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, challenged Trump for the GOP’s 2020 presidential nomination, McDaniel appeared dismissive.


“They have the right to jump in and lose,” McDaniel said. “That’s fine. They’ll lose horribly.”

“The president has 93 percent approval in our party, our country is booming, jobs are coming back, wages are up, the military has been strengthened … We have put rule-of-law judges at every level of the courts,” she added. “What would any Republican be thinking saying, ‘this is a guy I’m going to run against.’”

Both Kasich and Hogan have floated the notion of a primary challenge to Trump in 2020, arguing that the Republican Party needs an alternative to a president who they say has divided the country and pushed the GOP to the right.

But mounting a primary challenge to the president would almost certainly be an uphill battle. The RNC has all but endorsed Trump’s 2020 reelection bid and is working closely with his campaign.

Already, one Republican, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, has moved toward a 2020 presidential run. He announced earlier this month that he was forming an exploratory committee, casting the move as an effort to counter Trump’s brash political brand.

"Our president is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office — which include the specific duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — in a competent and professional matter,” Weld said during a speech in New Hampshire.

McDaniel didn’t only go after possible Republican presidential challengers on Thursday. She also attacked former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE, who’s weighing a 2020 bid for the Democratic nomination.

“My husband said, ‘if Joe Biden were a superhero he’d be gaffe man,’” McDaniel said. “Joe Biden, go ahead and run; run on your record of stagnant wages, of jobs leaving this country … of bad trade deals, of bad foreign policies.”