RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel: ‘Poll Watching Is Not Intimidating’

Melanie Arter | November 7, 2022 | 10:44am EST
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Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that no one should be intimidating voters or breaking the law, but she clarified that “poll watching is not intimidating.”

“In Arizona, we have seen right-wing activists with guns and video cameras at drop boxes. In North Carolina, Reuters is reporting officials are tracking more than a dozen instances of potential intimidation or interference, and, in Michigan, your home state, one group is encouraging people to set up cameras to capture license plate numbers. What's your message to people intimidating voters?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked.

“Well, nobody should be intimidating or breaking the law. Nobody should, but poll watching is not intimidating. If you're following the law -- we have sent out guidance. This isn't happening from the RNC. We send out guidance to our poll watchers. I think what a lot of people don't know is, the RNC couldn't do this for 40 years,” McDaniel said. 

“We were under a legal order that we couldn't have poll watchers, and now we can. The Democrats have always had that. I think that's really imbalanced, but if you have been at a poll place, you see they're just simply observing, and it helps us at the end to give assurance to the voters to say, listen, we were there,” she said.

“We watched it. It went well. I think there's other things we should do, like voter I.D., get rid of ballot harvesting; 80 percent of the Americans -- the American people think we should have voter I.D. Why shouldn't we show our I.D.?” the chairwoman said.

McDaniel predicted that Republicans will win both the House and Senate.

“I feel good momentum. We're going to take back the House. I focus on two numbers, five and one, five to take back the House, one to take back the Senate,” she said.

“Voters are very concerned about inflation, and I think it's broader than inflation. It's rent. It's groceries. It's, can I buy a new car, because interest rates are so high? People are really, really struggling right now,” she said.

“That is, by far, the number one issue I hear, along with crime is a big issue and, for me personally, and I think a lot of moms and parents out there, the deficits that our kids are still dealing with the pandemic are the big issue. I feel good,” McDaniel said.

BASH: So, you have mentioned the economy and inflation. If you win, Republicans will actually have an opportunity to do something about those problems.


BASH: Inflation isn't just an American problem. It is a global problem. So, how specifically will Republicans lower inflation?

MCDANIEL: So, Kevin McCarthy has put out a plan, and I think the first thing is energy independence. We have those resources here. We have been energy-independent before. Joe Biden cut the Keystone pipeline day one, stopped drilling on federally leased lands. 

If we can pump our energy independence, every good, everything you do takes gas and money or diesel to get to where it needs to get, which is inflating the costs.

BASH: Will that have an immediate effect on people's pocketbooks?

MCDANIEL: We hope so, but I think the other thing is, we need a president that's going to work across the aisle. None of this happens unless both parties are working together. So, if we win back the House and the Senate, it's the American people saying to Joe Biden, we want you to work on behalf of us and we want you to work across the aisle and solve the problems that we are dealing with.

Bill Clinton did that, right? After '94, when he lost those midterms, he came across and said, let's work together. It will be interesting to see if President Biden does that.

BASH: Absolutely, and that requires a two-way street.


BASH: Will Republicans be willing to do the same, and not just be a roadblock for him?

MCDANIEL: We have to. We have to work on behalf of the American people. Dana, I don't live in Washington, D.C. I live in Michigan. I talk to people every day. I talk to restaurant owners who are desperate to find labor. I talk to families who are dealing, including mine, with these education deficits with our kids being locked down. They really want to see government start functioning.

BASH: And Republicans will be a partner?


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