MUST WATCH: Vivek Ramaswamy takes aim at RNC, Ronna McDaniel, and media at GOP debate

"We've become a party of losers. At the end of the day there is a cancer of the Republican establishment."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Vivek Ramaswamy came out swinging against the RNC and its chair Ronna McDaniel during Wednesday night's GOP debate in Florida. When he was asked by debate moderator Lester Holt why he should be the Republican nominee for president in 2024, he spoke instead to the problems he sees within the Republican National Committee itself. 

"I think there's something deeper going on in the Republican Party here and I am upset about what happened last night," he began. The off-year elections on Tuesday night were roundly disappointing for Republicans, who lost on issues as well as on candidates. 

"We've become a party of losers. At the end of the day there is a cancer of the Republican establishment. Let's speak the truth. I mean, since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022. No red wave— that never came. We got trounced last night in 2023. And I think that we have to have accountability in our party." The 2022 midterms were anticipated to be a referendum on Joe Biden's disastrous presidency, and instead, with the exception of some flipped seats in New York and Florida, that "red wave" did not materialize.

"For that matter, Ronna," he said, speaking directly to her in the audience, "if you want to come on stage tonight, you want to look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will yield my time to you. And frankly, look, the people— they're cheering for losing in the Republican Party."

Next, he took aim not just at her leadership, but the entire format of the RNC debate itself. In his view, having the debate moderated by Lester Holt, Kristen Welker, and Hugh Hewitt made no sense, when there are plenty of good people on the conservative side who could have been in place to ask meaningful questions about what conservative voters care about. Instead, the GOP presidential candidates were made to jump through hoops set up by Democrats on a left-leaning network, NBC. 

"Think about who's moderating this debate," Ramaswamy said. "It should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk—we'd have 10 times the viewership—asking questions that GOP primary voters actually care about and bringing more people into our party. And we've got Kristen Welker here. Do you think the Democrats would actually hire Greg Gutfeld to host the Democratic debate? They wouldn't do it."

"And so the fact of the matter is, and Kristen I'm gonna use time, because the fact of the matter is it's actually about you in the media and the corrupt media establishment, to ask you about the Trump-Russia collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years," he said. In 2016, fabricated opposition research from the Hillary Clinton camp alleged that Trump was colluding with Russia to steal the election. This assertion was proven false, but the allegations have remained and many Democrats still believe the lies. Welker reported on Steele Dossier, as the font of falsehoods were called.

"Was that real or was that Hillary Clinton made up disinformation?" He asked Welker directly. "Answer the question: go." 

She did not answer the question.

"This is how we get our country back," he continued. "We need accountability, because this media rigged the 2016 election, they rigged the 2020 election with the Hunter Biden laptop story, and they're gonna rig this election if there's no accountability."

Charlie Kirk, Steve Bannon and others were calling for McDaniel's resignation after Tuesday's disastrous results. Ramaswamy and McDaniel were reported to have had "heated words" after the debate, as reported by Timcast. A source close to McDaniel in the audience said that McDaniel referred to Ramaswamy as an "a**hole," and that the RNC would not give his campaign "one cent." 

"He’s an a**hole. Total a**hole," McDaniel apparently said. "He’s desperate because he’s doing bad in the polls. He won’t be getting a cent from us." 
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