Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was direct and blunt when addressing NBC’s Kristen Welker at the third debate of the ongoing Republican primary on Wednesday. In his opening answer to a question from moderator Lester Holt about why conservative voters should vote for him instead of former President Donald Trump, Ramaswamy immediately called on Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel to resign.
“I think there is something deeper going on in the Republican party here, and I am upset about what happened last night,” he said. “We’ve become a party of losers. There is a cancer to 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 ever came — we got trounced last night in 2023.”
He then remained critical of the GOP establishment as he addressed the stage and aired his reservations on NBC News hosting the debate. “Think about who’s moderating this debate. 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,” said Ramaswamy.
The Republican hopeful went on to stare Welker down and challenge her network’s stance on the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. “Kristen… this is actually about you and the media and the corrupt media establishment. The Trump/Russia collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years, was that real or was that Hillary Clinton-made up disinformation?”
Even after receiving no response from Welker, Ramaswamy continued, “Answer the question! Go!” His hardline point of view appears to oppose McDaniel for her decisions to partner with the left-leaning – and some say controversial – NBC News to facilitate the debate.
I’m sick and tired of this Republican Establishment that has made us a party of losers. Where is the accountability for years of losing: 2018, 2020, 2022 and now last night? I’m calling on @GOPChairwoman to resign tonight. pic.twitter.com/8hxVqWGlwL
Overall, Ramaswamy’s opening remarks were direct and demanded accountability from both the Republican establishment and mainstream media outlets. His fiery words garnered admiration from some and criticism from others, putting him at the center of attention.