Accusations and assumptions are once again flying as GOP officials in several states have announced plans to cancel Republican primaries in lieu of undivided party support for President Donald Trump.
State Republican committees in Arizona, Nevada, Kansas, and South Carolina are preparing to finalize plans to forego primaries in their respective states. While critics are attempting to brand this as a party coup by President Trump and the Republican National Committee, the National GOP committee has stated that they have nothing to do with state decisions.
Long-shot Republican challenger and former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh stated, “Trump and his allies and the Republican National Committee are doing whatever they can do to eliminate primaries in certain states…the RNC should be ashamed of itself, and I think it does show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft.”
While the rhetoric from naysayers has turned to shouting and name-calling, which in no way unites a party, national GOP officials are quick to point out that they nor the president have a say in state decisions. Adding that state caucuses are expensive, and these expenses can be used by the state GOP’s to fund other important candidates and issues.
Officials went on to point out that canceling primaries is not a new practice. In 1996, Democrats canceled 8 primaries in undivided support for then-President Bill Clinton, and 10 primaries in 2012 in support of then-President Barack Obama. Republicans are on record as canceling 8 primaries in 1992 and 10 in 2004 in support of strong candidates for reelection.
“It would be malpractice on my part to waste money on a caucus to come to the inevitable conclusion that President Trump will be getting all our delegates in Charlotte. We should be spending those funds to get all our candidates across the finish line instead,”Nevada State Republican Chairman Michael McDonald said.
Kelli Ward, Chairman of the Arizona state GOP said, “This is nothing new, despite the media’s inauthentic attempt to portray it as such. Arizona Republicans are fired up to re-elect President Trump to a second term and will continue to work together to keep America—and Arizona—great.”
In response to critics, the GOP executive director in Kansas stated, “Every time an incumbent Republican has run for re-election, except in 1912, the Kansas Republican Party state convention adopted a resolution instructing all delegates to vote for the elected incumbent.”
“Whether or not to hold a presidential primary is a decision made by our state executive committee every four years,” said South Carolina Republican Chairman Drew McKissick. There is strong precedent on the part of both parties to not hold a primary when they control the White House.”
Despite objections, the primaries will be canceled in these states, just as others have been canceled for both parties over the past century.