POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Trump says Republican Party is ‘getting rid of the Romneys’

Mar 5, 2024, 1:57 PM | Updated: 2:34 pm

Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel delivers remarks before the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Deba...

Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel delivers remarks before the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate on November 8, 2023 in Miami, Florida. McDaniel said she will leave her post on March 8. She’s leaving the GOP’s national leadership as Donald Trump moves toward another presidential nomination and asserts new control over the party.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — At a rally in Virginia Saturday, former President Donald Trump said the ‘Make America Great Again’ movement, referred to as MAGA, is taking over the Republican Party, and ridding the party of people like the “Romneys.”

Trump said MAGA “represents 96%, and maybe 100%” of Republicans, rejecting claims that almost half the party isn’t behind him.

“We’re getting rid of the Romneys of the world. We want to get Romneys and those out,” Trump said, likely referring to both Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who is not running for reelection, and his niece Ronna McDaniel, who Trump just helped oust from her position as Republican National Committee chairwoman.

McDaniel was once seen as a Trump ally, but lost favor with the former president in recent months after he started pinning the blame on her for Republican election setbacks in 2018, 2020 and 2022. McDaniel is the longest-serving RNC chair since the Civil War, and is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the niece of Sen. Romney.

She will likely be replaced by Michael Whatley, North Carolina’s state party chairman, and Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to his son Eric.

Sen. Romney has long been an outspoken critic of the former president, starting with a 2016 speech where he called Trump a “phony” and “fraud.” He did, however, frequently vote in favor of legislation supported by Trump.

The Romney biography by McKay Coppins includes a quote from Romney where he said the choice between Trump and former President Joe Biden is a choice between “an awful person or awful policies.”

Nikki Haley responds to Trump quote on Romneys

A statement from Haley’s campaign pointed out Trump has also said Haley supporters were barred from MAGA.

“Trump is actively rejecting people from the Republican Party — a losing strategy in November and a recipe for extinction in the long run,” the statement says.

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Trump says Republican Party is ‘getting rid of the Romneys’