Schuette on DeVos pick, Romney McDaniel’s future

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette speaking to 24 Hour News 8. (Dec. 13, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As the transition of power continues from President Barak Obama to President-elect Donald Trump, one of Trump’s cabinet picks is of particular interest to Republicans in Michigan.

Tuesday, the state’s Attorney General Bill Schuette talked about the selection of Betsy DeVos for secretary of the Department of Education. It comes as no surprise that the Republican AG and potential candidate for governor thinks the DeVos pick was a good one.

President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with his pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during a rally, in Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with his pick for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos during a rally, in Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Even as she spoke Friday during President-elect Trump’s “Thank You Tour” in Walker, the conversation about DeVos as secretary of education was drawing mixed reactions with many Democrats and school union members expressing concerns about her support of charter schools, vouchers and other choice options.

That, says Schuette, is precisely why he likes the choice.

“It’s a breath of fresh air that someone of Betsy’s caliber, knowledge, passion and drive would be the next education secretary of the United States of America. I share her philosophy of more choices more options, scholarships, what have you, particularly for disadvantaged areas so that parents are in the driver seat of where their children’s education journey will be,” Schuette said.

For her part, DeVos said at the Trump rally Friday that she would not give media interviews before her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate in deference to the process. Those hearings could happen early 2017.

RONNA ROMNEY McDANIEL NEXT RNC CHAIR?

The conversation surrounding the future of Michigan’s Republican Party chairman was the focus of many when Donald Trump brought his “Thank You Tour” to West Michigan.

The idea that Ronna Romney McDaniel might be the next Republican National Committee chair was one that floated about the DeltaPlex. But even as Trump praised Romney McDaniel for her help in Michigan, there was no announcement about her future.

It’s now surprising when you factor in all the different factions in the Trump camp and all the appointments that need to be made, making an endorsement — and that’s what it is since the national committee would have to vote on a new GOP chairman — of a new RNC chair is not the most pressing issue for the transition team.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks before President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a rally at DeltaPlex Arena, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks before President-elect Donald Trump arrives at a rally at DeltaPlex Arena, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A Trump transition official told The Associated Press Romney McDaniel is likely to get the RNC job. She is said to favored by the outgoing chair and now Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for the position. We are told that Romney McDaniel has talked with Trump, though the substance of that conversation is unknown.

None the less, Republicans here in Michigan are unabashed about their support of Romney McDaniel, including Schuette.

“I’m a big Ronna Romney McDaniel fan. I mean, just look at it — the first time in 28 years that Michigan was delivered in the Republican column. A significant part of that was due to Ronna’s tenacity, drive, ability to communicate,” Schuette told 24 Hour News 8. “Just think, we own the presidency, we kept our congressional majority, a majority in the Michigan House of Representatives, our rule of law justices and she was a spark plug on that.”

Schuette says he expects Romney McDaniel to go to Washington, but says either way — he expects her to be a leader in the party for a long time to come.

An announcement on the president-elect’s choice for a new RNC chair could come any day.