President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is topic No. 1 at the Republican National Committee’s summer meetings in Nashville, BuzzFeed News reports.
According to BuzzFeed, Trump adviser Brad Parscale attended a Wednesday budget meeting, and both he and Michael Glassner, the head of Trump’s campaign committee, were among key aides seen talking to RNC members at the convention center and resort where members stayed.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross spoke at a Thursday lunch and the president’s eldest son, Eric, was set to speak at a Thursday dinner, the outlet noted.
Also taking place was the first meeting of a new Presidential Nominating Process Committee, led by RNC co-chair Bob Paduchik, who, according to BuzzFeed News, “has a particularly adversarial relationship with potential Trump challenger [Gov.] John Kasich”.
BuzzFeed reported Republicans say Paduchik’s role leading the committee is a message to any Trump challengers they will not have a sympathetic audience if they push for new rules. The first meeting was closed to reporters.
“Of course Trump’s enforcers will be out in strength to do his bidding on the committee prior to 2020, but it isn’t deterring any planning”, one unnamed Republican with ties to stop-Trump efforts.
“Actually it underscores the need for Trump and his ilk to go,” he said.
Despite Trump’s weak poll numbers, West Wing chaos, and his differences with mainstream conservatism, any talk of a contested primary, however, is “silly” Bill Palatucci, the RNC committeeman from New Jersey, told BuzzFeed News.
“It’d be pretty hard for someone to take on a sitting president, particularly here at the RNC,” he told the outlet.
“We’re in charge of the rules. The president is in real good standing with the members here,” he added.
Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster who worked for Trump last year, polled GOP voters this month on a hypothetical primary featuring Trump, Ohio’s Kasich, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.
According to BuzzFeed News, half backed Trump, half favored of one of the other four or were undecided.