The Republican National Committee is in Detroit today to celebrate two years in the city with a unique-in-the-nation field office designed to pull more Black voters into the GOP. The office was launched to much fanfare and excitement from Republicans, heralded as a new day for the Party as it seeks to broaden the tent. But since its inception, the Detroit office has been criticized for a lack of presence in the community it aims to reach, inaccessibility to the media, and a general lackluster reputation. How has the Party viewed the success of the field office, and what will be its purpose or mission going forward?
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel. Here are a few highlights from their conversation:
- Detroit Office: Romney McDaniel says the opening of the office was an important step for the Party in American cities with large African American populations. ”It signaled our commitment to be in these communities,” she says, ”and to find the things we have in common.”
- Politics: Romney McDaniel points out, though Democrats and the media have been critical of the GOP field office, only the Republican Party has a field office in Detroit. ”The Democrats don’t have an office in Detroit, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have an office in Detroit,” she says.
- Entitlement Programs: Henderson asks Romney McDaniel about Republican criticism of entitlement programs such as Medicaid, which often benefit people living in impoverished cities such as Detroit. Romney McDaniel says she doesn’t believe people who are recipients of entitlements are fond of them. ”We have more poverty in our country than ever… and Republicans are focused on helping everyone get out of their situations,” she says. “People don’t want to be in a social safety net forever… these are things that are designed to lift people up, and it’s not happening… People are not doing better.” Romney McDaniel sites Detroit native Ben Carson (currently a GOP candidate for president) as a prime example of someone who came from meager beginnings and willed professional success in his life.