RNC's McDaniel Warns GOP: Don't Get Comfortable About 2022 Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 04 May 2021 01:29 PM
Republicans should not get comfortable when it comes to retaking the House in 2022, despite the party's victories in Texas' 6th Congressional District race and the trend for years where a sitting president's party loses seats in the midterm elections, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Tuesday.
"I never want to get comfortable," McDaniel told Fox News' Harris Faulkner on "The Faulkner Focus." "I want everybody to work hard. We can take back the House. It is five seats away. Usually, it's 26 seats in a mid-term. Republicans have to show up. We have to be united. Let's remember what Joe Biden is doing to this country and not focus on our inner disputes. We have to work together if we'll win and take back the House in 2022."
Pundits have been pointing to Saturday's race in Texas as proof that Republicans have a strong chance at retaking the house after Susan Wright, the widow of the late Republican Rep. Ron Wright, won a first-place spot in a special election to determine candidates for a runoff race to replace the lawmaker, who died in February after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Wright will square off against GOP Texas State Rep. John Kevin Ellzey Sr. The top two wins blocked any Democrats from vying for the seat, meaning the slim majority the party holds in the House got more narrow.
McDaniel said Tuesday that the wins came after a great deal of in-person stumping by Republicans in the Texas district, which is seen by many as "purple" because of its growing votes from Democrats.
"We were knocking on doors and we contacted 4,000 voters to get them out," the chairwoman said. "We knew we had to target likely Republicans in that district and the Democrats did it too. They were fighting for the seat. Don't let them pretend they were walking away."
The Texas race marked Democrats' "best chance to flip a House seat," she added, and said it was "huge for Republicans that we walked away with two Republicans in the runoff. We'll pick up another House seat. That shrinks (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi's margin heading into 2022. (We're) 5 seats away from taking back the majority."
McDaniel also slammed President Joe Biden's announcement that he will resume a plan to raise the refugee admissions cap to 62,500 after he was criticized by other Democrats for keeping the cap historically low.
"These border states and border personnel will be inundated even more," she said. "What Joe Biden keeps doing is putting a magnet out to draw people to this country illegally, putting them in harm's way, putting them in the hands of cartels who they have to pay to make this dangerous trek." That, McDaniel added, is "impacting children at a significant rate. Many are dying as they make this journey."
But instead of tackling the immigration problem, Biden "keeps throwing quick fixes out there" to appease progressive Democrats rather than solving the root problem, McDaniel said.
"I feel so bad for our Border Patrol agents who are so overwhelmed right now," she continued. "They have a president and White House who don't care about them and the task they are undertaking."
McDaniel also accused Biden of "doing tremendous harm" to families that are heading to the United States, because the migrants are being put into the hands of the cartels.
"I talked to Gov. (Greg) Abbott last week," she said. "He said there isn't a single person coming across our border who isn't being dealt with for the cartels. They have to pay the cartels. Many children are dying along the way and suffering horrific abuses as they come to this country. Not only will the president and vice president not go to the border, but they haven't spoken to the governors dealing with this firsthand. He is putting a policy in place."