Capitol & State

RNC co-chair: Getting to know Trump ‘a challenge,’ but he’ll win

Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks to reporters with state GOP chair Steve Yates at the Idaho Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. She was in Idaho to attend an Ada County GOP event.
Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks to reporters with state GOP chair Steve Yates at the Idaho Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. She was in Idaho to attend an Ada County GOP event. bdentzer@idahostatesman.com

Donald Trump will win the presidency and Republicans will hold the House and Senate, the co-chair of the national Republican party told Idaho reporters Tuesday, though she declined to predict specific margins of victory.

“In this cycle? No,” said Sharon Day, speaking to reporters in the state Capitol with Idaho GOP chairman Steve Yates. “As a party, every cycle it’s a struggle because of the layout of the Electoral College.”

But, she added, “We’re very pleased with the campaign. His numbers keep going up. Her numbers are going down.... I think we’re going to be very pleased on Election Day with the outcome and I think we’re going to win in states where people don’t think we’re going to win.”

Day, who lives in Broward County, Florida, was in Idaho attending an Ada County Republican event Tuesday to thank party rank-and-file for their work.

“We’re here to support their effort, even in a very red state like Idaho,” she said.

Idaho, she added, is “like Republican heaven.”

She acknowledged that the process of getting to know the party’s standard bearer has “been a challenge. He’s not a political animal.” But, she added, Trump “speaks in terms that obviously America understands.”

I truly believe there’s nothing wrong with our message. Except we need more messengers to go out there and share our values and share our principles, and they need to be across all walks of life.

Sharon Day, RNC co-chair

“If you’re politically correct and you’ve been in the system forever saying it a certain way that you know doesn’t offend anybody, that’s the way you speak,” she said. An “outsider” like Trump “comes in talking to Americans and talking to people about their concerns in terms that they understand.”

Asked about prominent Republicans who have disavowed or rejected Trump, Day said she deferred to “the American voters that have selected him as our candidate.”

“We stand by that,” she said. “If someone doesn’t want to support him, aren’t we glad we live in a country that they can? Do I think they should? No. I think they should stand with our candidate, especially those that signed a pledge that said they would.”

Regarding some of Trump’s inflammatory comments during the campaign, Day said she “would have said some things different and use different terms, me personally.” But she cited Hillary Clinton’s recent characterization of some Trump voters as a “basket of deplorables” and said attacking a candidate’s supporters was worse.

“That comment I think spoke volumes about what Hillary Clinton thinks about the average American, thinks about me, thinks about many of us who support Trump,” she said.

Bill Dentzer: 208-377-6438, @IDSBillD

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