Election 2020

RNC 'Absolutely Not' Trying to Get 'Establishment' Candidates to Coalesce

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.com)

The Republican National Committee’s communications director insisted there is no party effort to get candidates deemed “establishment” to drop out of the race to create a greater unified effort against Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

In fact, Sean Spicer told CNN on Wednesday, “there’s a big difference between the RNC and the establishment.”

“Voters are mad, and rightfully so. I think the American people out there are tired of a government that’s not performing. And so all of our candidates on our side are talking about solutions that will get this country back on track and stop taking no for an answer, so that we can actually have a government that we hold accountable,” Spicer said.

“So I don’t think that that is that unique. And I don’t view it as a repudiation of anything but what we’re seeing right now in Washington, which is people getting fed up with where it’s at… we do have a small problem constitutionally because the man in the White House is a Democrat that doesn’t work well with Republicans.”

The RNC spokesman said the party’s answer to voters is “look, if you give us the opportunity to govern again, put a Republican in the White House, we will get results for you in America, we will start having accountability, we will start reforming the programs that need reforming. We will start ensuring that job creation is the top priority.”

“Is there an effort by Republicans in Washington to encourage two of the three establishment candidates remaining, either Rubio or Bush or Kasich, to drop out, to stop Cruz and/or Trump from getting the nomination to get the party behind one person?” host Jake Tapper asked.

“Absolutely not, no,” Spicer replied.

“We’re going to go through this process of the carve-out states with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and then immediately go into 11 states on March 1. That’s going to put more voters into this process, helping some candidates to stay in longer, giving the boost they need, maybe making a decision for others that they don’t have the support,” he continued. “But it will be the voters that ultimately decide what delegates get elected and go to the convention, but it is not going to be anybody in Washington.”

RNC chairman Reince Priebus separately reminded CNN 5 percent of the delegates get awarded in February and 60 percent get awarded in March, “so it’s early.”

“This will play itself out and we’ll get to a good place in our party where we rally around a particular person,” Priebus said. “…And we’ll have a unified party when it’s done and those folks are — as long as they’re staying in involved, which it’s important for us to keep those folks involved in the party, that they will participate come November, 2016.”

Priebus said a potential third-party run by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is “no skin off our back.”

“I view it as another Democrat. So you’ll have two Democrats running and splitting their vote,” he said. “Look, he’s been fighting and pounding away at Republicans for how long now? He wants to take all the guns away. He wants to tax Slurpees and sodas. The guy is a liberal Democrat. So great, if they want to have two Democrats run and split their vote and let us compete in places like Connecticut and New Hampshire and Maine, places we used to win 20 years ago, we’ll take it.”