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Longtime Mississippi RNC member looks to block total Trump takeover until primary is officially over

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

As presidential primary season continues to ramp up on the Republican ticket, one party leader is offering two proposals to keep the GOP from becoming the Trump Party before a nominee is officially selected to face off against expected Democratic nominee President Joe Biden.

Henry Barbour, a longtime Republican National Committee member and nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, is looking to resolve what he believes to be “terrible precedents” for the RNC to set as the GOP primary is far from officially over. Barbour is asking the party to pursue neutrality and avoid paying any legal bills for candidates if those fees are not linked to the current election cycle.

The move by Barbour follows RNC chair Ronna McDaniel announcing that she will be resigning from her position at the committee’s spring training on March 8 as former president and 2024 GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump called for new leadership at the top of the party.

Trump, still in the middle of a primary battle with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, has urged RNC members to promote North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley to McDaniel’s post while naming daughter-in-law Laura Trump as co-chair and senior campaign advisor Chris LaCivita as the committee’s chief operating officer.

Barbour and a few RNC members took exception to the former commander-in-chief attempting to count his chickens before they hatch, as Trump has only secured 110 of the 1,215 delegates needed to become the Republican presidential nominee. The Trump camp, on the other hand, finds the primary election to be virtually over as the former President defeated Haley by 20 points in her home state this past Saturday.

Henry Barbour
Henry Barbour, a longtime RNC member, is looking to prevent a total Trump takeover until the primary election is over

To prevent a full Trump takeover of RNC leadership before the delegates are officially attained, Barbour is proposing a neutrality resolution to prohibit the party from taking on any staffers from a candidate’s campaign until that candidate has won the primary.

“We can’t change the rules in the middle of the game and that’s what the Trump campaign is trying to do here,” Barbour told SuperTalk Mississippi News. “Everybody knows that to become the nominee, you’ve got to get over half the delegates, and the Trump campaign is, in essence, saying that the primary is over. How many states have voted? Four. Four states have voted. It’s a terrible precedent.”

Well aware of the power Trump has within the party, Barbour knows that he faces an uphill battle in getting the thumbs up for the party neutrality proposal but is hopeful that RNC members will be more inclined to give the nod to his second proposal regarding legal fees.

As Trump remains embattled in litigation, facing four criminal indictments, Barbour does not find it prudent for the RNC, whose goal is to help Republicans nationwide win elections, to use vital resources on the legal fees of Trump or any candidate for that matter.

Barbour’s proposal comes after reports indicate that two political action committees linked to Trump have spent upwards of $50 million in campaign contributions on the former president’s legal bills. According to Barbour, the RNC even spent nearly $2 million on Trump’s legal fees before he announced his candidacy for the 2024 election. Barbour was one of four people to vote against allocating the funds.

“I opposed it then, and I oppose it now,” Barbour said. “The RNC has one mission and that’s to win elections. We only have a certain amount of money and we should spend all that money on political efforts to win … To then take that donor’s money and pay the legal fees for one of our candidates for court cases that have nothing to do with winning elections this year is just inconsistent with our mission.”

Efforts to keep the RNC from becoming the Trump Party before all the delegates are granted to the New York business tycoon turned politician aside, Barbour believes that it is likely a foregone conclusion that Trump’s preferred figureheads will assume party leadership before the primary ends.

Trump’s campaign estimates that he will officially be the primary victor by March 12, the day Mississippians will head to the polls to cast ballots.

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