Fox News rallies around Harmeet Dhillon for RNC Chair

Ahead of the Republican National Committee’s vote on who will lead the group following disappointing results in the 2022 midterms, Fox News personalities are pushing to replace the current chair Ronna McDaniel with Harmeet Dhillon, a long time regular guest on the network, which is one of the most influential players in Republican Party politics. Prime-time Fox stars Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have been especially vocal in their support.

Dhillon has made 16 weekday appearances on Fox since the midterms, 15 of them on either Carlson or Ingraham’s show.

Dhillon announced her bid on Tucker Carlson Tonight on December 5. Carlson responded, “I love it. I can vouch for your toughness, it’s absolutely real and much needed. … We’re rooting for you.”

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Citation From the December 5, 2022, edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight

Since then, Dhillon has appeared multiple times on his show. Referring to McDaniel, Tucker Carlson said that “Republicans seem to have this instinct to reward failure and mediocrity,” asking, “How could anybody, how could any RNC member, for a moment, consider supporting that person?” On January 11, Carlson praised Dhillon as someone who “plans to try and change” Washington, D.C. Most recently, on January 24, Carlson remarked that she makes a “persuasive case” for her candidacy when Dhillon appeared on his show.

Shortly after announcing her bid, Dhillon appeared on The Ingraham Angle, where Laura Ingraham claimed “The Angle likes Ronna McDaniel a lot … but the results do speak for themselves, she’s right about the house flipping but it’s time for change at the RNC.” Ingraham said about Dhillon, “It's time to look for new leadership that will revitalize the RNC and help the party move to victory after victory in 2024. And that would mean supporting our next guest.”

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Citation From the December 7, 2022, edition of The Ingraham Angle

In mid-December, Laura Ingraham said that “everyone has to move on after a period of time unless you have such stunning success that is just undeniable,” and pointed to right-wing media calling for McDaniel to resign. 

Dhillon also appeared on Ingraham’s podcast on January 25, where the host asked Dhillon why supporters of Trump would be supporting Ronna McDaniel for chair, to which she responded “I could not presume to tell you why these folks … think it’s a great idea that we continue our current path which has led us to loss.” Ingraham also told Dhillon, “We’re rooting for you, Harmeet, all the way.”

But her support extends beyond prime-time hosts on the network.

On Steve Hilton’s Fox show, The Next Revolution, Hilton praised Dhillon, saying, “I’m so impressed with the way you’ve just totally shaken things up.” Hilton also congratulated Dhillon for her strong grassroots support from the GOP.

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Citation From the January 22, 2023, edition of The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton

Guest hosting The Ingraham Angle, Fox News contributor Sean Duffy told Dhillion that a poll of GOP voters “found you receiving 86% percent of support to just 14% for Ronna McDaniel,” and asked, “Harmeet, will enough RNC members listen to the will of the voters, are you going to win this race?” 

In a discussion about Ronna McDaniel’s re-election chances on Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen claimed, “The Republican Party has performed disastrously in three success elections we have lost the House, we’ve lost the Senate, we’ve lost the presidency, and we just squandered the most promising political environment in a generation, despite the worst inflation in 40 years. … That is not a case for continuity of leadership.”

At an event “down the road” from the upcoming RNC vote, Dhillon surrogate and former senior advisor to Kari Lake’s gubernatorial campaign Caroline Wren spoke on behalf of her preferred candidate, and remarked on Fox News’ opposition to Lake. According to Semafor reporter David Weigel: