- A dating app called The Right Stuff that hopes to attract conservatives is set to launch this month.
- Ryann McEnany, Kayleigh McEnany’s sister, is leading outreach on Capitol Hill, per The Daily Beast.
- The app is having trouble getting Republican women on the Hill to sign up before launching.
A new dating app aimed at hopeful, conservative romantics is facing hesitance from some Republican women on Capitol Hill to sign up, according to a Daily Beast report.
Recently, the app — which was founded by former Trump administration officials John McEntee, Daniel Huff, and Isaac Stalzer — has been conducting outreach to conservative women in DC, offering exclusive access ahead of its launch this month.
The company’s spokesperson Ryann McEnany, the sister of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, has led the outreach and sent direct messages on Instagram to Republican staffers, The Daily Beast reported.
In the messages reviewed by the outlet, McEnany wrote: “Hi. I’m working with John McEntee’s team on an exclusive conservative dating app called The Right Stuff that’s expected to launch this summer! We would love to get you on our list for early access to the app.”
But two Republican staffers on the Hill who anonymously spoke to The Daily Beast said many who received the message have ignored the request and privately joked about it in their own circles.
One Republican operative, as The Daily Beast described, expressed doubts about the company’s strategy of focusing its launch in DC
“It’s all of Mitch McConnell’s staffers,” the operative told the outlet.
Others shared concerns that it might attract trolls or liberals acting like conservatives.
In an email to Insider, co-founder and the former director of the White House presidential personnel office McEntee, wrote that trolling “will not be a problem because our initial users are all young conservatives and will only invite other like-minded individuals.”
“Also it’s a dating app so you can simply unmatch or report anyone that’s using the platform in a mean-spirited way,” he wrote.
McEntee also disputed the idea that women were not signing up for the app. The “majority of early sign-ups are women so I don’t even understand that point,” he said. McEntee did not immediately respond to a follow-up question on data points the company may have showing the number of early sign-ups.
One Republican staffer also questioned why the app was necessary when other dating apps, such as Hinge or Bumble, already allow users to filter by political affiliation.
“You can meet other conservatees on normal dating apps,” she said. “It’s something you can filter for.”
McEntee defended the app, saying that “right now conservatives are spreading out across a lot of different platforms and we need to consolidate that. Not to mention most are too scared to put conservatives on their profiles due to the hostility they face. On our platform everyone can be themselves openly!”
The app, which billionaire Peter Thiel backed with $1.5 million in seed funding, has marketed itself as the antithesis of modern-day dating apps, which might require users to input preferred pronouns or, in one case, the type of unconventional sex they seek.
Users of The Right Stuff don’t have to list their pronouns, but if they do, they can only identify themselves as male or female, according to the company’s pitch deck that was previously reported on by Insider.
A spokesman for Thiel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Huff, one of the co-founders, also told The Hill in August that the app would first focus on heterosexual relationships before it potentially expands to same-sex relationships.
“We’re sorry that you had to harden years of bad dates and wasted time with people who don’t see the world our way — the right way,” McEnany said in an ad spot for the app.
The app follows a trend in conservative-centric platforms that have popped up in the last few years after many Republicans have expressed frustration with the policies of major tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Startups like Parler, Donald Trump’s Truth Social, and Gab launched within the past six years — all purporting to be havens for free-speech enthusiasts.