The Iowa Republican Party’s fundraiser tonight showcased the GOP’s top of the ticket candidates this November and focused on the presidential campaign that will soon follow.
“Iowa Republicans will start the presidential process. We are first in the nation!” Iowa Republican Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said, to cheers, as he opened the event.
Kaufmann led a group of national party officials who recommended that Iowa’s Caucuses go first as Republicans select a presidential nominee in 2024. Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel told the crowd she put Kaufmann in charge to “send the signal” that she did not want the order of voting events in the next presidential campaign to change.
“I knew the Democrats were going to be changing their map. I mean, they had such a hard time in 2020 and I figured they’d be changing and I wanted a very strong signal from the RNC,” McDaniel said.
The Republican National Committee voted in mid-April to keep Iowa’s Caucuses first. The Democratic National Committee has been considering a plan that would dislodge the Iowa Caucuses that Democrats participate in from the lead-off spot in 2024. McDaniel suggested the decision’s been made, but Democrats delayed the announcement so as not to distract from Iowa’s 2022 elections.
“The Democrats are walking away from Iowa,” McDaniel said. “It is a very clear signal they do not want to come here anymore and Republicans have re-upped our commitment to your great state.”
The fundraiser opened with a prayer from Steve Scheffler, the Republican National Committeeman from Iowa. He mentioned the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s home in Florida.
“Lord, we know that we’re at a tipping point in our country,” Scheffler said. “We know that evil surrounds by looking at things that happened just a couple of days ago with President Trump and the DOJ…the Justice Department and the FBI being totally out of control.”
Governor Kim Reynolds, who is seeking re-election this year, accused the Biden Administration of unleashing the FBI on parents, taxpayers, gun owners and the former president.
“We are at an all-time low, folks,” Reynolds said. “Elections matter and we need to step up and we need to show up and we need to let ’em know that enough is enough and we are not going to take it any longer.”
Senator Chuck Grassley told the crowd he spoke with FBI director Christopher Wray and asked about the classified documents Trump was keeping at his Mar-A-Lago estate. “How come you did not negotiate something with the president as you did with Hillary Clinton about her emails?” Grassley said he asked of Wray and the GOP crowd responded with applause and cheers.
The Republican National Committee chairwoman said the Biden Administration needs to reveal why Trump’s home was searched. “This happened through the National Archives Act, so what piece of paper did he take? I asked him the other day: ‘Was it the Declaration of Independence? What piece of paper did you take?” McDaniel said, with a laugh, when speaking with reporters after the event.
McDaniel said continued silence from the FBI and Department of Justice about the case fuels distrust of government institutions.
In a written statement, Ammar Moussa, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said “Republicans like Ronna McDaniel are pushing an ultra-MAGA agenda that’s not only extreme, but also wildly dangerous.”
Ultra-MAGA is a term President Biden first used in May as a way to describe Republicans he considers extremists. It’s a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.