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Chris Ruddy Turned Small Investments into Newsmax

From journalist to starting Newsmax was one big jump. Chris Ruddy said he had a wide array of people who helped him.

Jim Cryns

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I’ve received calls at the house from William Shatner, Don Sutton, Don McLean, and many others. This was the first call I’ve gotten from the owner of a leading cable news channel and influential website. This was also the first call I received from a man who has a speed dial that includes former presidents, senators, congressmen, billionaires, Oscar-winning actors, and an assorted group of world leaders. Yesterday, I got one from Chris Ruddy.

Ruddy just recently returned from Ukraine. He was invited to sit down with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the two spent over an hour meeting in Kyiv.

Was Ruddy ever in danger?

There’s always risk in a trip like this, he said. 

“I have our journalists there in far riskier locations in Ukraine, so I believe I should share the risk,” he said.

As for Zelensky, Ruddy won’t overly detail what was said privately when they met. 

“He has the gifts of being extremely savvy, funny, and charismatic,” Ruddy shared. “A determined man. A man for all seasons.”

Ruddy said Fox News opposes Zelensky with Tucker Carlson repeating Kremlin talking points and Fox’s prime-time coverage “ignoring the war completely.”

“More than 40 million Americans watch and read Newsmax regularly, and I wanted Zelensky to know we stand with him and the Ukrainian people. He is fighting for us.”

Chris Ruddy is the CEO and majority owner of Newsmax. He was born right off the cusp of the Boomers and the Gen Xers. Ruddy graduated from high school in 1983.

My first question was logically about his being into MTV music videos.

“I didn’t watch a lot of those,” Ruddy said. 

“I was kind of a nerd. I was into the speech & debate team,” he chuckled.

He credits his high school debating experience with honing his skills for a career in journalism. “It forces you to look at issues from both sides.”

Ruddy, 57, grew up in the 60s and 70s. 

We talk about sitcoms and how the world has changed.

“I think the Brady’s were the first couple on television to sleep in the same bed,” Ruddy recalled. If you grew up in those days, that’s a bit of trivia you just don’t forget. Where people slept on The Brady Bunch.

He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in history from St. John’s University in 1987. He earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics. He’s been a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. 

I quickly realized I was out of my depth. This guy is uber smart.

Ruddy comes from a large Irish Catholic family, something he referred to as a tribe. 

Before you ask: yes, he’s Catholic. Ruddy grew up on Long Island in a small town called Williston Park, just across from the New York City border. His father, Frank, was the lieutenant running the nearby Nassau County 3rd Precinct.

Ruddy said he spent his summers as a kid only, 10 or 11, in the precinct house’s “holding room” for those just arrested, sitting with his dad drinking Yoo-Hoos, and often talking about what was in the news.  

“I think there’s a certain mentality in a family with a father who works on the police force,” Ruddy said. “He was always wired, alert and concerned. Kind of a daily paranoia.”

Ruddy said doors on the car always had to be locked. His father faced the door whenever the family went to a restaurant.

I used to think only mob bosses did that. I stand corrected.

Interestingly, Ruddy senior didn’t like carrying a gun. 

“He was like Sheriff Andy Taylor, in that regard,” Ruddy explained, referencing the Andy Griffith Show. His father didn’t like wearing a gun because he always said cops were just civilians in uniforms. Their job was to help people. “His mission as a cop was to see that people were treated fairly.”  

Surprisingly Ruddy also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I asked him how that came about for a kid from Long Island.

“It goes back to me always being a news junkie,” Ruddy said. “I was interested in the whole conflict in the Middle East. It was always a constant discussion in my home and around New York with such a large Jewish community here. My mom always sided with the Israelis.”

While attending St. John’s, Ruddy saw an ad in The New York Times,” he said. “It said you could study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He recalled the headline of the ad read, “Study in the center of the worlds’ great three religions.”  

“I thought that was a fascinating place. So, I looked into the school. It was founded by Albert Einstein. So I decided to go.”

An unusual destination for the son of a cop.

“My dad was a great believer in the American Dream. He didn’t expect his sons to be police officers.” 

Ruddy’s father passed away when he was 12, and he said his life was fairly self-governing after that.

“I made the decision myself to go to Israel. My mother didn’t like the idea; she felt it was too dangerous. 

“I was 19, and back then, people did things like that at that age.”

Ruddy said he went off to Israel, and it was eye-opening. “Media perceptions of Israel at the time painted it as an aggressor, and it wasn’t.”

He’s seen a lot in his career. For a journalist, that helps one gain a sense of perspective on life. 

We’re in some rather turbulent political times. According to Ruddy. The Nixon era of his childhood was comparatively mild compared to today. 

He’s also gotten to know presidents well, including former presidents Trump and Clinton. 

Interestingly, Nixon’s grandson, Christopher Cox Nixon, serves on Newsmax’s board, and Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s son, is a long-time friend of Ruddy and serves as a Newsmax Contributor.

When he was just a kid, Watergate exploded on the national landscape.

“I think there was a lot of accountability and clarity back then,” Ruddy explained. “I think Nixon crossed the line. At the same time, I think he was treated unfairly. Presidents have committed acts far worse than what Nixon did.”

As a reporter for the New York Post and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Ruddy covered the Clinton White House.

Clinton handled his big Lewinsky scandal differently than Nixon, Ruddy said.

“Clinton apologized early on. He and I have spoken about it. I think he has remorse and hindsight is always 20/20. He’s been accused of not apologizing, but he did.”

Ruddy added, “I believe Bill Clinton is a true patriot; he did a number of really good things as president.”

“I’m a Reagan and a Trump conservative.” Ruddy quickly clarified his pro-Clinton statement. Ruddy is also a pragmatist. “I’m an Edmund Burke kind of guy.”

Ruddy became well-known for writing about the Whitewater case, and notably culminated in a 1997 book he wrote, The Strange Death of Vincent Foster: An Investigation.

“I was actually approached by Simon & Schuster to write a book on Foster. The capstone of my reporting on it for two years.” Ruddy said he never advocated any conspiracy theory on the death but looked carefully at the police inquiry of the case. 

From journalist to starting Newsmax was one big jump. Ruddy said he had a wide array of people who helped him.

One was Alexander Haig, who became an advisor to Newsmax in its early years. Haig had an illustrious career in the Army, as Nixon’s chief of staff, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and later Reagan’s Secretary of State. He also was president of United Technologies and helped found AOL.

“I think Al enjoyed talking to me because I knew of, or about, almost every major figure he dealt with,” Ruddy recalled. “We’d sit for hours in the den of Everglades Island home on Palm Beach, and he’d download about Nixon, Watergate, Reagan, a lot of backstories. It helped me understand how things really work at the highest levels.”  

Regarding his journalism background, Ruddy started doing investigative reporting for the New York Post. “I was particularly interested in welfare reform and spent some time with Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, who was innovating on that. I also covered abuses in programs like Social Security disability.”

When writing his articles or books, Ruddy said he takes the same approach.  

“I pull together all the relative pieces. I look for evidence, quotations, and citations. I put numbers on things. Then I try to pull it all together. I use handwritten outlines, figure out what I want to start with, and add the numbers of my cites, where things will be inserted. Then I start typing.”

Ruddy said even today, he likes to occasionally write because it’s a release and expression of yourself. “There’s power in that,” Ruddy said. “I sort of have to wind myself up to write. Putting it all together. I tend to drink a lot of Coke as I start.”

Ruddy, like me, prefers to write with noise in the background.

“I think that’s because we both come from large families,” Ruddy laughed.

After all his successes, Ruddy said he doesn’t believe in positive reactions to things he’s done. 

“Not really,” he said. “Maybe it’s Irish Catholicism. Whatever it is, I don’t believe my own press releases. I think of what Rudyard Kipling wrote, ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same.’”

Ruddy isn’t afraid to call out the state of the media.

“Journalists keep lowering values and standards,” Ruddy said. “Years ago, you would never accuse someone of lying. It’s just something you just didn’t do. If they lied, you said they ‘misrepresented’ something or provided ‘inaccuracies.’ Now you turn on the TV, and everyone is calling each other a liar. The old buffers don’t exist anymore.”

Ruddy said he is a great admirer of Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the New York Post and later Fox News. 

“He bet billions on Fox. A lot of billionaires complain about the media bias in the U.S., but Murdoch actually had the cajones to put billion-dollar chips on the table to change the media status quo here. It changed America.”

After leaving the Post in 1995, he joined the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as a national correspondent.

Following Ruddy’s work at the paper, in 1998, he started Newsmax with a $25,000 investment from the daughter of William J. Casey, Reagan’s CIA Director. 

Along with billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who owned the Tribune-Review, and other private investors, Ruddy raised $15 million in the initial years to start Newsmax. 

Ruddy told me Newsmax was losing money for the first three-and-half years, then broke a profit in 2001.

After a long period of running a “must read” digital website for right-of-center Americans, Newsmax transitioned to television starting in 2014. 

“I was seeing the growth of these OTT channels and thought that would be the future,” Ruddy said. “Fox News had half of the cable market, and I figured we could get some of that. Even a small percentage would put us on the map.”

And Ruddy said Roger Ailes, who was running Fox News at the time, had several meetings with him about leaving Fox and running Newsmax. 

“Even then, he wasn’t really happy with the situation there and was thinking of doing something new.” Ailes ended up renewing with Fox and then getting fired in 2016.

Despite remarkable odds, Newsmax could get carriage on every major cable system while parlaying his new TV channel as a major OTT streaming brand.

“Now we’re the fourth-highest cable news outlet,” Ruddy said, citing Nielsen. He says more than 20 million viewers tune in to the channel regularly. 

Ruddy remembers his first television hire at Newsmax television was John Bachman, a local CBS anchor in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“I think John was about 30 at the time,” Ruddy said. “He was part of a press group covering us when Sarah Palin came into the office during a 2010 visit.” 

Why Florida for corporate offices?

“Our corporate offices are in Boca Raton,” Ruddy said. “Television operations are centered at our Midtown New York offices. Ruddy said he had family ties to South Florida, but he also liked the climate, both for taxes and weather. 

 “I wanted to establish my company outside the bubbles of New York and Washington,” he said.

Ruddy said he also discovered the Palm Beach area was a winter mecca of important people from New York, Washington, and elsewhere. In addition, geography made him a convenient place to visit for powerful newsmakers.

Ruddy said when he joined Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in the early 2000s and was still in his 30s, he was one of the youngest members. 

“I’m still the youngest member of the club,” Ruddy says he likes to jokingly remind Trump. Ruddy says he sees him often and knows him very well.

What do people not know about Trump?

“I think people misconstrue his public and sometimes theatrical elements as threatening,” Ruddy said. “Whenever I introduce him to people who didn’t like him, they find him extremely likable and charming. He turns out not to be what they expected.”

Ruddy said people think Trump has no empathy. “Sure, he’s a celebrity, and he has a big ego and a sensitive one. But I have seen the personal side when he gets quite emotional about other people’s situations.”

Ruddy recalls how Trump before he became president, fought to get Amanda Knox released, a young American student who was wrongfully imprisoned in Italy for murder. 

“There was a time all he would talk about was her case, asking me to cover it. He would go on TV and radio shows telling people to boycott Italy, and he was like the only big celebrity doing this.”

Ruddy noted that Knox was released in 2011, and Trump got little credit, but he really played the major role in her release.  

As President, Ruddy recalls talking to Trump about the North Korea crisis early on.

“He was really mentally disturbed about it. He thought Obama left him this mess, and he was forced to make decisions that could mean the loss of many lives, huge casualties if war broke out.” 

Ruddy says people see Trump as a political figure, but Ruddy thinks of him as a major historical one.

“There is no political leader in human history that draws the political interest he has. What political figure in world history had this kind of engagement, tens of thousands showing at rallies, sometimes multiple rallies the same week. There’s no one who did this.”

But then Ruddy mentioned that even Mao and Hitler, and Stalin all needed the power of the state to create a crowd. “It’s not the case with Trump,” he said.

Ruddy says he doesn’t like the political extremism of either side but says the left is trying to redefine the center and are now censoring and closing down conservative viewpoints.

“I’m not a fan of CNN, but I’d never call for them to be de-platformed or shut down,” Ruddy said. “The left believes all of their facts are true and conservative ones are false just because they come from conservatives.”

Ruddy says all major social platforms – Google, Twitter, Facebook — banned any mention of Hunter Biden’s laptop; they said it was misinformation.

“Now, a year later, the New York Times and Washington Post are reporting it was Hunter’s laptop after all.” 

“It’s a dangerous thing when Google de-ranks you, de-lists you, bans you on YouTube because you have a thought about something they disagree with. Especially when they get the 230 exemption that makes them immune from lawsuits.” 

What about all the recent seismic activity from the Supreme Court?

“I think these rulings are going to stay for a while,” Ruddy said. “I don’t see this see-sawing. Democrats would have to win the White House in 2024 and keep it for years to really change the Supreme Court.” 

It may happen sometime in the future, he says. When it comes to Presidential elections, Democrats have a significant demographic advantage, he argues. 

“And that advantage will continue to grow,” he says. Newsmax is a needed antidote for the coming changes.

BNM Writers

Dagen McDowell Is Ready For A New Adventure With Fox Business

“Every decision in America is born of policy, On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

Jim Cryns

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To know Dagen McDowell, you must understand what she comes from, where she comes from. You won’t know her until you know the lessons, kindness, and determination set forth by her parents.

Her parents operated a small grocery store, LW Roark and Company. Charles and Joyce McDowell were high school sweethearts and both went to college but decided to go back home and open a business. “This is in the middle of nowhere,” McDowell said. “It was a wholesale grocery store. They sold it in the late 90s.”

She said her parents were smart, encouraging, and took every opportunity to teach McDowell and her brother.

“They’d constantly talk up people who came into the store. Both of them have and had an insatiable curiosity about everything. They felt they learned things through their customers. It was more fun to learn about things from other people.”

McDowell’s parents never took a week off work. Never. The family took no vacations as most families would. Once while McDowell was in college at Wake Forest University, the family visited the Air and Space Museum on the Mall in D.C.

“Both of my parents were very interested in architecture and landscapes. We’d go to Williamsburg and just look at the buildings.”

McDowell joined FOX News Channel in 2003 and helped launch FOX Business Network as a founding anchor in 2007.

Her mother passed away three years ago and her father is still very much a part of her life. Her father was a constant teacher.

“One time my father, who we called Dowell McDowell, was putting up an outbuilding and asked me how long one line should be if the other line was such and such. He taught me the Pythagorean theorem when I was about 4 years old.”

McDowell was nurtured by parents with endless curiosity.

“I was raised by parents who would always debate and converse around the dinner table. We shared breakfast and dinner together every day. They loved learning, were always inquisitive, never afraid to ask a question. My parents shared a fearlessness and passed that on to me. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask people questions. I love talking to people and finding out about things.”

For a long time, McDowell had no idea what she wanted to do for a living. She knew if she worked at different jobs she’d eventually figure out what she was good at.

“I knew I was a decent writer, but I always tried to get information out of people, what they were doing. Ask if they were fulfilled and happy.”

At Wake, Forest McDowell majored in art history and had every intention of working in a museum, possibly as a curator.

“I interned at the Center for Contemporary Arts. I lived in Venice, Italy for a while. Wake Forest owns a house in Venice.”

After that it was Colorado. She moved back to New York during the recession of 1991 with a duffel bag. She took the Amtrak to New York City and sublet an apartment for six months.

“I had no TV, just a radio. I knew I could find something good to do in New York, there were so many jobs. I always wanted to live in the city. Either the city or way out in the country. Nowhere in between.”

She said being in New York made her feel anything was possible. This was January in 1994 when job ads were still in the physical newspaper, like the New York Times. McDowell interviewed at Institutional Investor through a referral from a friend.

“It was a brilliant magazine with terrific writing,” McDowell explained. “Very prominent in the industry. They were looking for someone to work with the newsletter written for the financial community.”

She’d cover topics like the bond business, Wall Street, and money management. The magazine made her take a reporting test where you’d make up a story and write it. She was offered a job and worked there for three years.

“I learned to be a journalist there,” McDowell said. “I could write but I became a better journalist. We’d break news, create our sources, and learn more and more about finance. People love to talk about what they do if you show interest.”

The next big job was SmartMoney.com, a resource and web newspaper for private investors. There McDowell wrote a personal finance column. She started doing commentary on television shows, the way a lot of people in different professions tend to do. “Then I started making more appearances on weekend financial or business shows,” McDowell said.

She got a call from Neil Cavuto about 20 years ago and he told McDowell, ‘Kid, you want a job? I know you don’t have much professional TV experience. We’ll give you some training and you’ll figure it out. If you do, you stay. If not, you go.’

McDowell said she was glad she was a writer first before she arrived at Fox. She writes her own scripts and has a background in finance and business writing.

“Before the business network was launched, they had only one business reporter and two senior business correspondents,” she said. “I’ve gotten to do so many different jobs, use different muscles, so to speak. As the years have passed I’ve discovered other talents I may have and I’m incredibly grateful for that.”

There’s a new show in town. McDowell and Sean Duffy will co-host The Bottom Line which will air on weeknights from 6-7:00 PM ET.

McDowell said she and Duffy come from extremely similar backgrounds. Duffy is from rural Wisconsin and McDowell is from Virginia.

“We know what small-town living is like, “McDowell said. “I might live in New York City but where I grew up affects the way I view the world. I’m still grounded in my hometown. On the show, we look south and west with everything we cover. You have to think of your audience. Rather than talking about them, we talk with them. That’s our shared background and vision. Sean is extremely down to earth and generous.”

McDowell said the show is not financially based, but steeped in business.

She said Duffy’s experience as a former U.S. Congressman, he understands policy as well as financial matters.

“Every decision in America is born of policy,” she said. “On the show, we bring that to our show. Talk about the news of the day.”

This is different from anything McDowell has done in the past.

“It’s a two-anchor show in the evening,” she explained. “This is not taking place during market hours. We tie all the business happenings together from the day. Again, it’s not about Washington or New York. It’s about the people we grew up with. We talk to them. Build a relationship with them on the air. For me, this is not just sitting in front of a camera. I can run off at the mouth as well as anyone, hang in there with the filibuster.”

McDowell says she is blunt, but hopes she isn’t rude. During a recent interview for the new show she used the terms ‘pig potatoes’ and ‘chapped backsides.’

“Those are terms I just made up,” she said. “I make up a lot of phrases and don’t always know what they mean. I have an entire repertoire of those kinds of phrases.”

Duffy assumed they were southern phrases he had to learn from McDowell, but she assured him she’d never heard them anywhere else.

“I’m just making stuff up,” McDowell said. “You can’t curse. Can’t say BS. At least you shouldn’t say BS on television. You don’t want to say manure. You never want to say something that makes people wince or evokes a smell.”

Dealing with people directly and bluntly seems to come from her mother.

“My mother had grit,” McDowell said. “She was also very kind, never syrupy. I used to say she had no magnolia-mouth.

That’s got to be a southern phrase.

McDowell said her mother was not a servile flatterer, but she was kind. Always there when somebody was in need.

“She had real grit. She’d stand and fight for her friends and family members.”

Her mother passed away after being diagnosed with stage-four cancer.

“She went through unimaginable pain,” McDowell said of her mother. “For nearly six years. You want to talk about somebody who was tough. There was nobody more pugnacious than my mother.”

She explained even with her illness, her mother was always on the go. Continuing to live her life. When questioned about being so active while she was ill, her mother continued to show grit.

“My mother would say she didn’t want to walk around looking like she had cancer. She asked, ‘What choice do I have? I could lay in bed and wait to die, or I can get up and do what I can .’”

McDowell said her mother’s illness taught her to be a caregiver in ways she never could have imagined. Her mother taught her to find moments of joy every single day, in the smallest of things.

“It can be as simple as telling a stranger to have a great day. Treat a perfect stranger with kindness. I do it all day long. I know it sounds corny, but I want to be known as a person who brings a casserole to a friend when they’re ill.”

A one-sheet from Fox tells you McDowell and the culmination of her background is perfect for The Bottom Line. The fact is, it’s true.

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BNM Writers

Airing The Tyre Nichols Video Was A Necessity

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, hard sounds to hear. But they aired.

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Far be it for me not to address this outrageous and embarrassing instance in humanity. After the videos of Memphis police brutally beating Tyre Nichols were shown on television there really seemed to be more outrage emerging from society this time than from the media, for a change. One would think that’s how we wish things to be.

In instances like this, where the video and audio images are far from brief but are instead chaptered as they unfold, there are few options other than to let them run their course. Clocks — breaks hard and soft — are out the window, just as in live coverage.

Because that’s what this was, only the live this time was us, and as we all absorbed and reacted to actions disapprovingly familiar yet somehow foreign at the same time, the impact was still becoming apparent even though we already knew the outcome.

It’s happened before.

Not always like this but we’ve seen it before, police encounters shown on the news overtakes and become the news.

It takes effect as the sights and sounds are digested, dissected, and discussed, often before their potential impact could really be imagined.

In 1991, when the Handycam footage crossed screens for the first time and we learned Rodney King’s name, we didn’t know then but we had a feeling.

We were on the right track, though as newsrooms evolved and street reporting incorporated a different type of storytelling.

I was a cop in 1991. Changes came. Some.

It’s 2023, I’m no longer a cop. Changes will come again. Some.

Turning points — or the overused watershed moments — mean just as much to the news media as they do to law enforcement.

The “why’s” that make this a turning point are more society and community based this time around than they were in 1991.

At least I think so. And I don’t think it makes a bit of difference who’s involved this time.

There were hard moments to watch in those videos, and hard sounds to hear. But they aired. Where they couldn’t air, they were described in great detail; descriptions sometimes can be worse than the real thing. Sometimes, not this time.

And they should air, they shouldn’t stop airing. This is what happened and this is what people need to see and hear and this is exactly why we are here.

Warn them, provide them with a heads up that they’re not going to like what happens next. It’s life and we show life, and we show what some of us do with it when it’s someone else’s.

Overall, I would say the news platforms held their composure, even after the videos were released. I saw, read, and heard some refreshingly neutral coverage, even from outlets where I expected hard turns into the lanes on either side of the road.

Legitimate questions were asked by anchors and reporters and much of the time, the off-balance issues were raised more by those on the sidewalks and those on the other side of the cameras and microphones.

As much as I find myself in disagreement with what I often see on the cable networks — all the cable networks — I did find a sense of symmetry watching CNN’s Don Lemon speak with Memphis City Council Chair Martavius Jones in the hours after the videos were released.

Regular protocols be damned, Lemon and producers lingered patiently as Jones, visibly overcome by emotion, struggled to regain breath and composure enough to be able to speak. Rather than cut away or move to other elements, they stood fast and it became an example of what often requires no words.

There were fewer punches pulled on other platforms as well.

The sounds of the screams, the impacts, and the hate-filled commands were broadcast through car radios.

As were Tyre Nichol’s calls for his mom. They aired. They had to.

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BNM Writers

Does the Republican Establishment Get It?

For many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections.

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In a move that seemed to go against the wishes of the patriotic American grassroots, the Republican party on Friday re-elected RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel. 

The media immediately took notice, as many on television and radio are now wondering why the party would re-elect a chairperson who has been so unpopular with the base of its party. 

Grant Stinchfield discussed this issue Friday night on his program, Stinchfield Tonight, which airs on Real America’s Voice network.

“Ronna McDaniel holds on to her chairmanship of the Republican Party. By a whopping total of — what were the numbers– 111 to 54. Harmeet Dhillon only received 54 votes. Mike Lindell 4 votes. This is proof to me that the Republican establishment is dug in,” Stinchfield — formerly of Newsmax — said. “Don’t tell me they’re out of touch. See, you tell me they’re out of touch, that implies ignorance. They’re not ignorant about anything.”

As sentiment for Dhillon grew in the days leading up to Friday’s vote, many influential politicians and party donors publicly offered her their support and endorsement. These included Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), as well as donors Mike Rydin, Dick Uihlein, and Bernie Marcus.

Also on board were musician and outspoken conservative John Rich, along with the state GOP of Nebraska and Washington State. Countless journalists and media personalities, such as Charlie Kirk, Miranda Divine, and Lou Dobbs, also came out publicly in support of Dhillon. Former President Donald Trump remained neutral, not making a public choice of either of the three candidates.

For many of Dhillon’s supporters, the deciding factor was public sentiment across the party’s base.

“They’re reading the same chat boards. They’re getting the same emails I’m reading. I will literally post something about this race when I was supporting Harmeet Dhillon. There was not one comment – not one – that supported Ronna McDaniel. Everyone wanted change,” Stinchfield said, noting that the party elite saw the same groundswell of support for change.

“Now, nobody has an issue as Ronna McDaniel is some evil kind of person. I don’t believe she is. I believe, though, that she is part of the establishment. She’s been around too long as far as the establishment goes. And she’s been ingrained in doing business as usual. It’s not working.”

In making their choices known, many Dhillon supporters simply pointed to the scoreboard during McDaniel’s reign.

“Think about where we are. 2018, we lost the House. 2020, we lost everything. 2022, we won the House, but we should have really steamrolled the House and we should have taken back the Senate, which we didn’t do,” Stinchfield said. “That means we’re on a real losing track since she took over. I don’t like being on a losing track. I like being on a winning track.

“Something has got to change when you talk about all of this. So how does Ronna McDaniel get 111 votes and Harmeet Dhillon only get 54 votes, when everyone, every Republican voter I talk to said it was time for change?” pondered Stinchfield.

And even more than the losses, for many it seemed that the Republican establishment stood idly by as Democrats changed the rules and worked behind the scenes to alter elections. The most recent example of which came in Arizona, where presumptive gubernatorial favorite, Kari Lake, was “defeated” when countless voting irregularities occurred in some of the state’s most deep-red areas.

“Under her watch, Democrats instituted a mail-in ballot scheme. That may be even worse than losing, when you talk about the House and the Senate and all these things. The fact that we now have a junk mail-in ballot scheme across the country under Ronna McDaniel’s watch is serious trouble. Very serious trouble,” Stinchfield said on Friday. “And so the reason it is is because the Democrats are rigging the system.”

For years – until Donald Trump descended the golden escalator and took the world by storm – the Republican party had the reputation of being the party of the rich. Rush Limbaugh used to refer to this wing of Republicans as “the country club crowd.” President Donald Trump flipped the narrative completely, offering a clear vision of hope and patriotism to working-class America.

Reputable polling — such as Richard Baris’ Big Data Poll — consistently showed Trump running well ahead of almost every Republican candidate during the 2022 mid-term election cycle. In other words, Trump still maintains considerably more support across the country than most of the individual Senate or House candidates experienced.

Many experts believe this is because voters still view Trump as an outsider, while they view the Republican party much less favorably.

“Let’s tell you how out of touch they are, how elitist they are,” Stinchfield said, calling out the GOP establishment. “This meeting that went on, do you know where it is? It’s at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch in California. One of the most expensive resorts in America. You’re lucky if you get a room for a thousand dollars a night down there on Dana Point. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel, but why is the Republican Party holding an event there? Then I went back and I looked at what RedState did. RedState went back and looked at some of the expenses that the Republican Party under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership was spending money on.

“Take a look at this. $3.1 million on private jets. $1.3 million on limousine and chauffeur services. $17.1 million on donor mementos. $750,000 on floral arrangements. Now you compare this to the Democrats. The Democrats spent $35,000 on private airfare. A thousand dollars on floral arrangements. A thousand. Not $750,000. A thousand. And the $17.1 million they spent on donor mementos, the Democrats spent $1.5 million.

“Democrats know where to put the money. It’s not giving donors gifts. Donors shouldn’t want gifts. If you give money, give money. You don’t need the fancy pin to put on your lapel.”

Following her loss, Dhillon warned her party that it must listen to the base, saying, “if we ignore this message, I think it’s at our peril. It’s at our peril personally, as party leaders and it’s at our peril for our party in general.”

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