In a statement, Ms McDaniel tried to allay some of the concerns, saying: “The 168 RNC members are choosing who will lead the RNC, I hope to win their support and that is the most important endorsement.”
A committee spokesman, Mike Reed, said Ms. McDaniel and the committee had always followed bylaws for not approving candidates in Republican primary elections. “This policy of remaining completely neutral in the primary election will continue as long as she is president,” Reed said.
Senior Republican officials close to Mrs. McDaniel said they were already seeking new arrangements between the RNC and the Trump campaign over the donor and data lists, which would give Mr. Trump copies certain lists, but also leaves them available to other candidates through the committee. Beyond that, these Republicans said, there are limits to how influential the RNC can be in the party’s primary election.
Ms. McDaniel, a native of Michigan, has a gilded political pedigree: She is the niece of Senator Mitt Romney of Utah and the granddaughter of George Romney, a three-time Michigan governor. She earned Mr. Trump’s trust in part by encouraging him to take trips to his home state during the 2016 campaign, which he credits for helping him win there.
She has told people she does not intend to seek another term after 2022, said one person who was briefed on the discussions, a step that could ensure her exit before the 2024 presidential cycle begins in earnest.
So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is why Mrs McDaniel has challenged Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, who has just lost his re-election bid and is well-liked among pro-Trump and Trump-skeptical Republicans like Washington. . Sir. Gardner did not respond to two emails asking if he had any interest in the presidency.
The current and former committee members, who may prove to be most formidable, have told staff they will not run. These include Mr Barbour – whose uncle, former Mississippi-led Haley Barbour, took over the party after the Republicans lost their presidency in 1992 – and Reince Priebus, Mr Trump’s first chief of staff and a former RNC chairman.