On her way out, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel urged crowds in Rosemont to vote early

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Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel She used an Illinois Republican Party fundraiser Friday night to give a farewell speech of sorts as she prepares to be ousted from party office later this month under pressure from the former. President Donald Trump.

While appearing at an event aimed at encouraging Republicans to vote early and by mail, the “Save Your Vote” program she launched despite criticism from Trump and other GOP leaders that the practice Democrats have successfully used was rife with fraud, McDaniel made no mention of it. . The former president or her imminent departure as head of the Republican Party.

She urged a crowd of more than 700 people in a ballroom at the Westin O’Hare hotel in Rosemont to pledge to vote early, avoiding a voting deficit on Election Day and saving the party the cost of getting them to vote in the final days of the campaign. .

“Why bank your vote? We in the party have to start using mail and early voting,” she said. “Please raise your hand and you will pledge to vote early in this election. Everyone, we have to do it.”

McDaniel recounted how Michigan, where she was the state party chair, voted Republican for president in 2016 for the first time in decades after she was told the state was unwinnable. “We turned it red and you can do it here too,” she said.

Illinois Democrats have a long history of success with early voting and organizing mail-in voting, which led to the state’s GOP deficit on Election Day. In a statement, the state Democratic Party called the Republican National Committee’s efforts a case of “voting hypocrisy” and indicated its support for legal efforts to limit the counting of mail-in ballots that were postmarked on or before Election Day.

McDaniel’s appearance came after she met on Monday with Trump at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Afterward, he called her a “friend,” but said changes at the Republican National Committee would come after South Carolina’s Feb. 24 primary.

While serving her fourth two-year term as GOP chair, McDaniel spent her term trying to please Trump, most notably dropping her maiden name, Romney. She is the niece of Trump’s GOP nemesis, US Senator Mitt Romney of Utah.

It also moved to transform an established party organization into one that mirrored Trump, supporting him even when he falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen.

But the party’s fundraising has slowed and the GOP’s record has not been stellar, with Democrats taking control of the White House and Congress in 2020, while Republicans performed poorly in the 2022 midterm elections.

While attending what she said was the state party’s first “Give Your Vote” celebration, McDaniel’s message marked a sharp shift in strategy to urge GOP voters to cast ballots on Election Day and avoid early voting.

The event’s keynote speaker, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, seemed to trample the evening’s message when he declared to loud applause: “I think we should have an election day, not an election month.”

Kennedy also made the only reference to McDaniel’s departure.

“She’s a rock star. She’s a star-studded beauty. She’s been one of the best chairs we’ve ever had and I want to thank her for that,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also made no mention of Trump, but praised Republican policy accomplishments during his presidency, while offering harsh criticism of President Joe Biden and Democrats.

He added: “I think Republicans are not perfect, but the other side is absolutely crazy.” “The American people do not deserve to be ruled by eccentric, hopelessly woke people who hate George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Seuss, and Mr. Potato Head.”

“The Biden administration is bad,” Kennedy said. “President Biden has been in amazing shape. For three years, he’s been pushing on a door clearly marked “Pull Out.”

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