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The RNC announced its first primary debate, and Trump loyalists are furious

Here's why the Republican National Committee's plan for the first primary debate has Trump supporters up in arms.


The Republican National Committee on Wednesday announced plans for the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate, and some Donald Trump supporters are incensed. 

In a statement to Fox News, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the network will host the first debate, which will be held in Milwaukee in August. But it's the debate's partnership with Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group tapped to attract young voters, that is sending some MAGA loyalists into a tailspin.

Why? Because YAF is known for its ties to Trump’s former vice president and potential 2024 rival, Mike Pence.

The organization has labeled Pence a “longtime ally” and named him one of their “Ronald Reagan Presidential Scholars” in February 2021, weeks after Pence famously declined Trump’s call to intervene in Congress' certification of the 2020 electoral votes. In fact, Pence spoke at a YAF event earlier this week.

So, of course, MAGA Republicans are implying the RNC’s arrangement with the group is a coup of sorts by anti-Trump Republicans to box them out.

"YAF is Never Trump and Pro Pence," former Trump adviser Steve Bannon wrote on right-wing social media platform Gettr on Wednesday. "How did RNC do this....."

Bannon's post included a tweet from Turning Point USA's Tyler Bowyer, who claimed the RNC's partnership with YAF "may end up making the base hate the RNC even more."

Outrage from Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative organization focused on mobilizing young voters, kind of speaks to my impetus for writing this post. There are two intraparty feuds at play in the Trumpist right’s outrage over the primary debate setup. There’s the Trump-Pence feud, between the two men and their supporters. But there’s also a feud between purported youth-based organizations like TPUSA and YAF over who is best suited to lead the Republican Party’s youth outreach and, fundamentally, who should get the most institutional support to do so. 

Some conservatives have openly encouraged the Republican Party to look outside TPUSA for its youth outreach:

So when you watch TPUSA folks crying over YAF’s role in the first primary debate, there’s certainly a lot of Trump fealty involved. But there appears to be a great deal of jealousy involved as well. 

And I, for one, am enjoying watching it all go down.