RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel joined Rick Gorka, Trump Victory Director of Regional Communications, on Monday for a press call to talk about how the Trump administration is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and discuss efforts to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program.
“As we have been talking to voters across the country, one of the things that has been so impactful for them has been the CARES Act, and specifically the PPP,” McDaniel said. “It is a time where, in crisis, our country came together in a bipartisan way to pass the $2 trillion CARES Act.”
The PPP program, McDaniel said, worked specifically to help small businesses continue to pay their employees, cover rent and pay utilities.
“Businesses, for the health of our country, were being asked to close their doors and to shutter their profitability,” McDaniel said. “This is a lifeline that the government gave them so that they could keep their staff on payroll and weather this uncertainty for the good of our nation.”
Many business owners, she said, did not know how they’d survive without the program.
“But last Thursday the money ran out because Democrats are refusing to push this as a clean bill,” McDaniel said. “Since last Thursday, jobs have been lost and businesses have been shuttered because Democrats have failed to find a way to act like they did the CARES Act.
“It has had such a positive impact, this is not something that should be bickered about or used as a partisan football. This is time to act.”
McDaniel praised Trump’s whole of America approach to the pandemic.
“It is so alarming to see Democrats hold this up,” she said. “Businesses are shutting their doors and people are losing their jobs because they could not get this done. It’s shameful and we’re hoping they will come up with a solution because this is a time where everyone has to come together and put aside their partisanship to help businesses across this country.”
McDaniel was asked about resuming campaign rallies.
“Obviously we’re going to take into account the three phases of opening the government and make sure that everybody’s safety is in place and we’re following the guidelines federal, state and local governments are laying out,” she said. “Hopefully we can rally again. Hopefully, we’ll get to a place where we can campaign again.”
As for the Republican National Convention, the plan right now is a traditional convention.
“Don’t think we need to switch to an alternate plan, but we will monitor circumstances and adjust accordingly,” McDaniel said. “We have at least until the end of June, early July to make a decision if we have to switch from a traditional convention to something scaled back, but we will have to have an in-person convention. Those are the bylaws of the RNC.”
Even though congressional Democrats were distracted with impeachment in the months leading up to the pandemic, McDaniel didn’t take the bait to criticize them.
“The blame game is not going to be effective right now,” she said. “I don’t think the American people want to see the finger-pointing. They want to see leaders come together to solve a crisis like something we’ve never seen before. The President has made it clear, he’s willing to work with everyone. He’s constantly in contact with Democrat governors across the country.
“Right now, everything that we’re focused on is helping to make sure that people are receiving the resources they need and are understanding the steps the administration is taking in conjunction with Democrats to help get us out of this crisis. Not just from the virus standpoint, but also from an economic standpoint.”
The hope is to resume campaigning, which would mean the country is out of the crisis. Trump, she said, has been talking about making sure our supply chain does not rely on China since well before the virus hit America. He also took action with tariffs and attacked the trade deficit.
“He’s talked about it as a national security issue for years,” she said. “I think many Americans will look at that now and say he was exactly right.”