Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy began tonight’s Republican primary debate by sharply attacking the Republican National Committee (RNC) and its chair Ronna McDaniel, as well as criticizing the NBC moderators hosting the debate for previous coverage of former President Donald Trump.
Ramaswamy called the GOP “a party of losers” after Republicans “got trounced” in high-profile elections in Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky on Tuesday. He blamed McDaniel for Republican underperformance dating back to 2018.
“We’ve become a party of losers at the end of the day,” Ramaswamy said. “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.”
Ramaswamy then invited McDaniel, who opened the debate with brief remarks to the audience, to respond to his criticisms, urging her to resign live on-stage at the debate.
The entrepreneur has often distanced himself from the Republican establishment and previously said he’s using the Republican primary process to advance his agenda, which he views as outside the mainstream Republican worldview.
He went on to criticize the RNC for choosing NBC as its broadcast partner, which he labeled as part of the “corrupt media establishment,” and portrayed the network as aligned with Democratic Party views. He said Republican voters and the party would be better served by having right-wing media personalities asking questions.
“Think about who’s moderating this debate. This 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,” he said.