However, the potential of fireworks may be limited in one sense. The candidate forums will be exclusively for members, proxies or representatives of the RNC and will not be broadcast or open to the public. During the forum, «the candidate may use the time to give a speech, answer questions, or both,» according to the email. He goes on to say that “a podium and microphone will be provided, but the use of audiovisual or electronic equipment is prohibited. However, the distribution of materials will be allowed.

The forums have been a part of previous RNC meetings, including the races for co-chairman and treasurer in 2021. But this cycle comes at a particular turning point for the party. The contentious race between McDaniel and Dhillon has played out on cable news and in heated emails between members who have debated everything from the direction of the Republican Party and former President Donald Trump’s influence on it to its handling of finances. internal.

Asked in an interview in December if she would be open to a discussion or public forum with Dhillon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who also said he is running for president, McDaniel said she would participate in a forum limited to members. they will be voting for the presidency.

“I am always happy to talk to the 168 [members], so I talk to them every day,» McDaniel said on Steve Bannon’s «War Room» podcast. «I’m interested in doing things against the 168, that’s what I’m interested in doing.»

«Ronna McDaniel looks forward to participating in the Candidate Forum at the Winter Gathering to continue her conversations with members of the 168, our party’s grassroots leaders who are eager to unite, compete and win in 2023 and 2024,» Emma Vaughn, spokesman for the campaign to reelect McDaniel, said in a statement.

Dhillon and his supporters have called for a public debate, not a forum, in which each candidate can speak for an allotted time. In a statement, a spokesperson for Dhillon said she would participate, but holding the forum out of public view «sends a very bad signal to NCR donors and grassroots leaders that the current chair is too weak or he is afraid to debate his own record. .”

Lindell told POLITICO that he also plans to participate in the next forum. To qualify for the RNC presidential race and participate in the forum, a candidate must submit a petition by Friday showing they have the majority vote of RNC members in three different states to be nominated, according to the rules of the party