Trump-friendly nomination proposal was bolstered by RNC: Michigan GOP official

ABC News reports that the Republican National Committee was involved in some way with a plan for a new nomination process, which critics say benefits Donald Trump. Michigan’s Republican Party Chair confirms this.

Michigan Republican Party officials voted Saturday night behind closed doors to pass a resolution of intent that would give out only 16 of Michigan’s total 55 delegates during the primary election, and the remaining 39 through the caucuses held four days later. This could be a benefit to Trump, as it limits the selection of the majority of delegates to a group of caucus goers who are expected to be friendly towards the former president.

Kristina Karmo, the chair of Michigan’s state party, who won Trump’s support in her failed bid for secretary-of-state in 2022 said that national party leaders were responsible for proposing a split track during Michigan’s presidential nominating contest.

Karamo explained that they had worked closely with the RNC’s legal team and with other members of the RNC. “This was not a haphazard plan we came up with by ourselves,” he said.


She added, “We spoke to the RNC leadership team to ensure that this was an appropriate and well-thought out process.”

Karamo was asked if she had spoken about the proposal with RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel who served as Michigan Party chair during Trump’s rise to power in 2016. She replied, “I spoke to her.” “Yes, I did.”

When ABC News contacted the RNC for comment, it directed them to their delegate selection plan guidelines.

The RNC must know by October 1st how each state will elect, select, allocate, and bind delegates. Emma Vaughn is a spokesperson for the committee. She said, “We look forward to reviewing all state and territorial plans.”

The proposal, however, is only a wish list until then. An RNC official who requested anonymity in order to freely discuss the process, told ABC News that the final decision will not be made until the committee as a whole reviews and approves the state’s delegate selection plans by December.

The RNC official said that the Michigan GOP’s conversations with it focused more on the rules and processes than the substance and language of Karamo’s specific plan. This is the type of guidance provided by the national party to each state party when they begin to formulate their path forward in delegate selection.

Critics say that the new delegate selection plan could tip the scales in favor of Trump.

Michael Schostak told ABC News that the law only allows precinct delegate who have been elected before. “The precinct delegate are overwhelmingly Trump supporters.”

Sources familiar with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told ABC News that the Michigan Republican Party has not contacted his campaign despite numerous failed attempts to discuss the proposed changes.

Karamo’s closeness to Trump could hurt her ability convince Republican candidates and voters of the impartiality of the change.

Jonathan Hanson is a lecturer in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. He said: “I do think that it has that potential.” It adds to suspicion that the cards are stacked just a bit.

Steve Laffey, a businessman and Republican presidential candidate in 2024, says that the Michigan State Party’s decision is “defying logic” and “rigged”.

Laffey, ABC News, said that “to select 70% of the delegates in caucus meeting, instead of on the basis of a primary vote is defying logic”. It’s no secret Donald Trump is very popular with local party officials in Michigan. This is yet another attempt to prevent the will and voice of the people.

Laffey, however, says that he does not intend to contact Michigan party officials in order to express his concerns. He will instead focus on creating a “fair, open, and transparent primary process.”

Schostak was present in the meeting but not the room. Schostak was informed afterward that state party members had been sold on the idea of the RNC having already approved the new plan.

Schostak explained that those who were against the plan objected because the resolution had been “sprung” upon the members of the State Committee just a few weeks before their meeting.

Some people thought, “Well, why do we rush to do this?” “Let’s continue to talk about this, and, you know, try to find a better solution,” he said.

“Part of my concern is that delegates are behind Trump. “Any of the other candidates will say that they won’t waste their time or money by coming to Michigan for campaigning,” he said.

Hanson stated that the pro-Trump group has defeated its anti-Trump counterpart in “pretty intense fights” for local Republican Party leadership roles.

He said that there was good reason to believe sending delegates to regional caucuses by county party organizations to Trump would be favorable.

Dennis Lennox is a Michigan Republican strategist who finds Karamo’s decision and her own behavior troubling.

Lennox said that “Kristina Karmo is not someone who any serious Republican or credible person should listen to.”

He also argues that, if the plan is approved, it will disenfranchise about a million Michigan voters who participate in the primary because their preferences might not be reflected in the much smaller group of people who can take part in the caucus.

Lennox said, “It is ironic that a party with members so obsessed with what they perceive to have been an election stolen or rigged would pass a proposal which would create the ultimate stolen or rigged elections.”

Lennox says that the consequences of this decision will be felt down-ballot. He says there will be lawsuits from “interested” parties and inevitable internal party disputes at the Milwaukee nominating convention next year, if the RNC approves the state party plan.

Trump is less convinced that the plan will allow him to easily navigate.

“I believe the people doing it believe it will but I caution those who say it. Lennox said that historically, the person with the strongest party position has benefited. This year, however, it seems like we are on the verge of a race that could go to the convention.

The party claimed it made this change after the Democratic-led state legislature, on the recommendation of Joe Biden as president, passed earlier this year a bill that moved up the primary date in the calendar. The RNC’s rules were in conflict with the Feb. 27 date that was approved by the state legislature.