There is already talk swirling about who will top the 2024 GOP ticket for the White House, but Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Newsmax on Wednesday the real focus must be on winning the House and Senate back in the 2022 midterm elections.
"We're so far away from 2024, I can't even think about it," McDaniel, who recently launched the "Real America" podcast, said on Newsmax's "National Report." "It really is about 2022 for me. We're five seats away from taking back the House and retiring Nancy Pelosi."
She also stressed that anyone expecting to be a strong contender in the 2024 race must help GOP candidates win races in 2022.
"We're seeing the power grabs that Democrats are putting forward ... with one in that we saw yesterday finally defeated," McDaniel said, referring to the Republicans' block of the Democrat-led "For the People Act" on Tuesday.
"We're seeing them fail at the border," she said. "We're seeing them fail on energy policies, so if we don't take back the House and the Senate, 2024 is going to seem almost impossible for us, so that's what I'm focused on."
McDaniel also commented that while there was a great deal of attention placed on Republicans losing control of the House, Senate and White House in 2020, there are still some "underlying stories there that are not highlighted enough."
"Republicans picked up 15 seats in the House in 2020 and lost no incumbent races," said McDaniel, adding that the GOP also picked up 135 state legislative seats.
"We're trying to flip state legislative chambers," she added. "Ahead of redistricting, they flipped none. Republicans flipped three and we're 50/50 in the Senate. ... Americans is very divided, so Republicans are in the best position to pick up seats in this first midterm, which historically we do, and I think we're going to see great gains in 2022."
Meanwhile, the RNC is in touch with former President Donald Trump, and she believes he and others across the Republican spectrum will host events and help raise money.
"With President Trump, with [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis, with everybody stepping up, we know what's at stake," McDaniel said. "We are united about our desire to win and take back the House and the Senate, and we know we can only do that if we're all swimming in the same direction and working together, hand in hand."
There are also a lot of "common-sense" voting reform laws being passed in places like Georgia, Iowa and Florida, and that is a priority for the GOP, she said.
"The vast majority of Americans agree we should show an ID to vote," she said. "The RNC is protecting these laws. We're in 11 different lawsuits right now in Georgia, Florida and Iowa, and we're going to continue to fight to make sure that every legal vote is counted, but that we're preventing cheating. That's what every American deserves out of our election process, and it's really shameful for Democrats to paint these common-sense reforms as racist, because they're not."
And with the Democrats for federal voting reform, "we don't need the federal government determining how our elections are run. Our Constitution is very clear that should be done at the state level. Yeah, the vast majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, even support the idea of voter ID."
The 2020 election was also vastly different from others because COVID allowed states to enact emergency orders to change laws, which ended up stripping away simple practices like showing identification to vote, and allowed more absentee ballots.
"We have to make sure that our pre-pandemic laws match our post-pandemic laws and that we're not making changes that were made for a once-in-a-century pandemic, and I think that was a big factor."
The U.S.-Mexico border remains a big issue, McDaniel said.
"Americans, not just GOP voters, but Democrats are recognizing that the Biden administration is failing on this issue," she said. "Kamala Harris has been put in charge of it. It's been 91 days. She has not traveled to the border. Fentanyl crossings. It's iup 800% across Texas; you've seen now 180,000 migrants try and cross, illegal aliens try and cross in may alone of this year, kids are coming unaccompanied. It is a massive crisis, and Democrats are turning a blind eye."
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