Reince Priebus is an amateur and lightweight who has been a "disaster" as chairman of the Republican National Committee, says Chris Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media.
"He has been, yes. I think if you had a strong party, we never would've been in the situation we're in today and some of the things that have gone on in this primary and the back and forth," Ruddy said Thursday to Miranda Khan and Ed Berliner on "Newsmax Now" on Newsmax TV.
"And we're now having one candidate . . . saying he's not showing up at Republican debates. I think that's bad for the party and it's a sign."
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Ruddy said a strong leader at the helm of the RNC would have prevented the raucous GOP civil war from ever happening.
Priebus formerly chaired the Wisconsin Republican Party before assuming command of the RNC in 2011. He oversaw the party’s significant loss to Barack Obama in 2012.
Ruddy said the growing influence of super PACS took away the attention from the Republican party itself.
"The special interest came in, these PACs, and they've really come to eclipse the party. But what they all forgot was the party still controls the primary process and the convention and so we can't sort of allow the party to be handled by lightweights and amateurs," Ruddy said.
"I'm afraid that Reince fits into that category. He's really been a disaster. I don't want to sound like I'm against Donald Trump. I believe whoever wins that convention should win it on the first ballot and get a majority of votes."
"The only way we're going to have that happen is for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump to go to the finish line here and have a two-man race."
In a Newsmax column
published Thursday, Ruddy called on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to drop out of the race for the GOP nomination now that Jeb Bush has endorsed Cruz, saying the former Florida governor has now united the establishment and conservative wings of the Republican Party.
Ruddy said that with Trump’s extraordinary and controversial run as the GOP presidential front-runner, voters are telling the party they want a "clean slate."
"This is what the message is. Everybody's trying to kill the messenger, which is Donald Trump here, but his message is an important one," said Ruddy, who believes Cruz, as a Capitol Hill outsider has a "very good shot" at the nomination.
"Why so many people are rallying to him is they realize that he will not only bring in the establishment people like Jeb Bush, but he'll also bring in the Trump voters who might feel angry that Trump didn't get the nomination," Ruddy said.
"It's a really good completion between the two of them. John Kasich, whatever his goals are, either to get the vice presidency or to lead to a brokered convention, both of those goals are bad for the party and bad for the country."
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