DNC Statement on Michael Whatley’s Election As the New Chair of the RNC

In response to MAGA extremist Michael Whatley being chosen as the new RNC chair, DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement: 

“Today, the RNC poured gasoline on a dumpster fire by promoting Trump-backed election denier Michael Whatley as their new leader. Whatley has embraced Donald Trump’s dangerous and extreme agenda, and is so out-of-touch he even broke with other GOP leaders and failed to denounce a white supremacist with neo-Nazi ties. This latest MAGA rebrand will not change the RNC’s dire fundraising issues or string of electoral losses, and Republicans will regret elevating a fringe election denier as chairman when he leads them to another Trump defeat in November.”

Michael Whatley was endorsed by Donald Trump to take over the RNC because he has extreme MAGA credentials. 

New York Times: “Trump’s Man at the R.N.C. Will Face Pressure to Satisfy His Election Lies”

New York Magazine: “Trump Taps Election Deniers Lara Trump, Michael Whatley to Lead RNC”

Associated Press: “In pushing Michael Whatley as the next leader of the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump zeroed in on the North Carolina GOP chairman’s dedication to ‘election integrity,’ baselessly suggesting he would ensure the 2024 race ‘can’t be stolen.’”

Associated Press: “Donald Trump wants a leadership change at the Republican National Committee in an attempt to install a new slate of loyalists — including his daughter-in-law — atop the GOP’s political machine even before the former president formally secures the party’s next presidential nomination.”

Whatley is a dangerous election denier who parroted Trump’s baseless lies about the 2020 election.

New York Times: “Mr. Trump likes Mr. Whatley for one overwhelming reason, according to people who have discussed him with the former president: He is ‘a stop the steal guy,’ as one of the people described him. He endorses Mr. Trump’s false claims about mass voter fraud… Mr. Whatley has baselessly claimed that election security efforts from Republicans in North Carolina stopped Democrats from cheating.”

CNN: “Likely frontrunner for RNC chair parroted Trump’s 2020 election lies”

“Michael Whatley, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, shared false claims that Republican observers were prevented from accessing polling locations and repeatedly said Democratic cities in swing states were engaged in ‘massive fraud.’”

“His elevation to RNC chair could give Trump a loyalist more willing to devote resources to pursue future voter fraud claims in court should they arise.”

“‘Regardless of how these lawsuits come out around the country with the presidential race we do know that there was massive fraud that took place,’ Whatley said in one late November 2020 interview on local North Carolina radio. ‘We know that it took place in places like Milwaukee and Detroit and Philadelphia.’”

Raleigh News & Observer: “Whatley has frequently repeated Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.”

Vice: “North Carolina Republican chair Michael Whatley falsely claimed in February that ‘we certainly saw evidence of voting irregularities, of election counting irregularities in a number of places around the country,’ and invented the claim that the reason Trump won North Carolina was his state party’s vigilance against Democrats’ attempts to cheat.”

Whatley has failed to condemn a state House GOP candidate with ties to a neo-Nazi organization.

Raleigh News & Observer: “NC GOP chair stays quiet about candidate’s Nazi ties after failed effort at removal from ballot”

“This year, however, the state GOP, led by Chair Michael Whatley, has remained silent on a candidate with ties to a neo-Nazi organization.

“Joseph Gibson III, a Rockingham County podcaster with past felony convictions, is running for a state House seat. … After Gibson was approved to be on the ballot, Whatley — who is now running to be chair of the Republican National Committee with former President Donald Trump’s support — did not publicly condemn his candidacy. 

“The Anti-Defamation League found that Gibson had ties to the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and referred to him as a ‘white supremacist and anti-government extremist.’

“The ADL’s report said Gibson participated in livestream events hosted by the NSM and in one instance messaged the channel saying ‘88,’ a dog whistle used by white supremacists to mean ‘Heil Hitler.’”

Whatley is an anti-abortion extremist who celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade and called North Carolina Republicans’ extreme abortion ban “responsible” and “mainstream.”

Raleigh News & Observer: “Michael Whatley, chairman of the N.C. GOP, said he was proud of activism on the part of the anti-abortion movement” [after Roe v. Wade was overturned]

Whatley on North Carolina’s extreme abortion ban: “Well I think it’s a responsible bill, I think that this is a legislative package that is well within the mainstream of North Carolina political thought, it’s going to be supported, these are positions that are widely supported across the state.”

Under Whatley’s leadership, the NCGOP has also supported a MAGA platform that could threaten access to IVF – similar to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that Trump made possible.

Popular Information: “Trump’s pick for chair of the Republican Party opposes ‘the destruction of human embryos’”

“Under [Whatley’s] leadership, the North Carolina Republican Party has consistently opposed scientific procedures that involve discarding human embryos, saying such actions violate ‘the sanctity of all human life.’ The most recent version of the North Carolina Republican Party Platform, approved in 2022, states that ‘[u]nborn children have constitutional rights to life and liberty and, the government must respect and protect all innocent human life from conception to natural death.’ Specifically, the party opposes ‘the destruction of human embryos.’ A previous version of the platform under Whatley, approved by the North Carolina Republican Party in 2020, contains identical language. … The position of the North Carolina GOP under Whatley on embryos mirrors a recent decision by the Alabama Supreme Court.”

Whatley shares Trump’s desire to threaten millions of Americans’ access to health care – he has railed against the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

Whatley: “That is going to have to be a process that’s going to go through the House, going to go through the Senate because there’s a lot of legislative fixes that you’re going to need in there for Obamacare.”

Whatley after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a budget that lacked Medicaid expansion: “Governor Cooper has chosen to hold NC hostage by vetoing a strong bipartisan budget bill which would help students, teachers and law enforcement in order to try to expand socialized healthcare.”

2019: Whatley criticized Governor Cooper for pushing Medicaid expansion.

Whatley has praised Trump’s failed MAGAnomics agenda that included the worst jobs record since the Great Depression and a tax scam that rigged the economy for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of America’s middle class.

Whatley: “[Trump] built the strongest economy in U.S. history by enacting historic tax cuts, dramatically cutting red tape, and bringing manufacturing back to America. … He has put America First by standing up to China and negotiating treaties, like the USMCA and Phase 1 China Trade Deal, which treat American farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses fairly.”

Fortune: “Trump to leave office with the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover”

Forbes: “Trump Tax Cuts Helped Billionaires Pay Less Taxes Than The Working Class In 2018”

Bloomberg: “The Offshoring of U.S. Jobs Increased on Trump’s Watch”

CNN: “Trump promised to win the trade war with China. He failed”

The RNC is in disarray after some of its worst fundraising numbers in decades headed into an election year.

Fox News: “Democrats hold vast fundraising advantage as Republicans face cash problems, disarray in crucial swing states”

“According to year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) holds nearly three times the cash on hand reported by the Republican National Committee (RNC), and brought in nearly three times as much fundraising in the final month of 2023.”

“The RNC reported its worst fundraising year since 2013 raising just $87.2 million in 2023, and starting 2024 with just over $8 million in cash on hand. If adjusted for inflation, the RNC’s fundraising was last this low in 1993 — before the 2002 McCain Feingold Act restricted political committee fundraising from corporations and capped donations from individuals.”

Washington Post: “The Republican National Committee continued to show signs of financial strain when compared with the war chest of the Democratic National Committee, reporting just $8.7 million in cash on hand to the DNC’s $24 million.”

Axios: “The Democratic National Committee also maintained its cash advantage over its Republican counterpart. The DNC raised $17.4 million in January and ended the month with $24 million in cash on hand. The Republican National Committee raised $11.6 million and closed the month with $8.7 million in cash on hand.”

Axios: “The RNC reported this week that it had its worst fundraising year in almost a decade last year — entering 2024 with just $8 million in cash. Trump’s comments are a sign of him flexing muscle as the de facto head of the GOP, even though the soonest he could clinch the nomination is March.”