Billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy came out swinging at the Republican presidential primary debate Wednesday, going after the NBC hosts of the debate and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel before turning to former ambassador and governor Nikki Haley as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Ramaswamy used his opening statement in the debate to blast McDaniel, inviting her to come up on stage and resign immediately after the party lost key races the day prior in Kentucky (governor) and Virginia (legislature).
“I think there is something deeper going on in the Republican party here, and I am upset about what happened lat night,” Ramaswamy said at the debate, referring to the party’s poor performance on election day Tuesday. “We’ve become a party of losers at the end of the day…let’s speak the truth. 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 we have to have accountability in our party.
“For that matter Ronna, if you want to come on stage and look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will yield my time to you,” Ramaswamy added.
He also blasted her for handing the debate over to NBC News, which pushed the story that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win in 2016, a story which was later largely debunked.
“Think about who is moderating this debate,” Ramaswamy continued. “This should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk. We’d have ten times the viewership asking questions that GOP primary voters actually care about and bring in more people into our party.”
Ramswamy called out NBC host Kristen Welker by name, equating her with conservative Fox News host Greg Gutfield. He went on to ask her to admit that the Russian collusion story was a mistake.
“Do you think the Democrats would actually hire Greg Gutfield to host a debate? They wouldn’t do it,” he said. “And Kristen….this is actually about you and the corrupt media establishment.
“The Russian collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years. Was that real or was that Hillary Clinton made up disinformation?” he added. “Answer the question. Go!”
Ramaswamy moved on to to go after Haley in particular, saying she got rich off of her military contract work, calling her “Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels.”
“Do you want a leader from a different generation who’s going to put this country first, or do you want Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels… in which case we’ve got two of them on stage tonight,” Ramaswamy said, apparently referring to a recent viral video on Twitter that many users said appeared to show DeSantis is wearing lifts in his boots to appear taller.
Haley fired back when her turn came, saying “they are five-inch heels” and “don’t wear them unless you can run in them,” adding, the heels are “not for a fashion statement – they’re for ammunition.”
The remarks came during the third Republican presidential debate in Miami, Florida.
Appearing on the debate stage Wednesday were the following candidates:
Former New Jersey Governor Chris ChristieFlorida Governor Ron DeSantisFormer South Carolina Governor and Ambassador Nikki HaleyBusinessman Vivek RamaswamySenator Tim Scott, R-S.C.
Several candidates needed a breakout night Wednesday to salvage their campaigns as former President Donald Trump has more support than all his opponents combined.
The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, shows that Trump has 59% support with likely Republican voters.
The survey of 2,605 voters includes 1,035 Republicans, 1,074 Democrats, and 496 true Independents, and is among the most comprehensive surveys in the nation.
DeSantis is in second place with 13% support while Haley comes in third with 9% support. Ramaswamy came in fourth with 7% support.
Scott and Christie are at the bottom tied at 2% support.