Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel fired back at 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Thursday, saying the entrepreneur had attacked her and the broader GOP establishment because his poll numbers are flagging.
“Listen, he’s at 4%. He needs a headline,” McDaniel said on Fox Business. “I’m gonna say what I’ve been saying to Republicans all along: Our headline should be about Joe Biden, the border, fentanyl, crime — terrible things that are happening in this country that the American people are looking to our party for solutions.”
“But I also will stand by my record as RNC chair.”
Ramaswamy was one of five candidates to appear at the third Republican primary debate on Wednesday in Miami. During his opening remarks, he issued a sharp barb towards McDaniel after Republicans suffered a series of electoral defeats in this week’s elections.
Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel speaks before a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News in Miami.
“I am upset about what happened last night,” he said. “We’ve become a party of losers. There’s a cancer in the Republican establishment. Let’s speak the truth. Since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC, we have lost,” Ramaswamy said.
“We got trounced last night and I think we have to have accountability,” he added. “For that matter, Ronna, if you want to come on stage tonight and look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will turn over — yield my time to you.”
McDaniel stressed that the RNC wasn’t involved in the state-level races on Tuesday.
The next GOP debate, scheduled for December, has stricter requirements to qualify, including that candidates secure at least 6% in two national polls, or 6% in one national poll and in one early state poll from two separate identified states.
Ramaswamy told reporters shortly before the debate he planned to be “unhinged” during the event. He went on to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “Nazi,” attacked moderator Kristen Welker, and got into a heated exchange with fellow 2024 competitor Nikki Haley.
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