RNC chair on Ramaswamy: ‘He’s at 4 percent. He’s looking for headlines’

Ronna McDaniel 2023

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on Sunday fired back at GOP candidate for president Vivek Ramaswamy after he targeted her from the debate stage this past week.

“Last I checked, I wasn’t running for president. He’s at 4 percent,” McDaniel told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “He’s looking for headlines.”

“I think what Republicans really want to hear from our candidates right now in terms of headlines is: How are we going to take on Joe Biden? How are we going to take on the border, crime, fentanyl, restore our kids’ education? What’s happening with Israel? There are so many things that Republican voters, Democrat voters, independent voters want to hear from our candidates.”

McDaniel then called on the GOP to stop targeting each other – pointing to the recent ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy as another example where infighting, she said, is counterproductive to the GOP agenda.

“So he can do that. That’s okay. But I will continue to say to everyone: We should be taking on Democrats, not each other,” McDaniel added.

“The circular firing squad, this attacking other Republicans –  like we saw with Kevin McCarthy, like we have been seeing over and over again – it is hurting us. And we have a map in 2024 where we can win the White House, take back the Senate and win the House,” she continued.

McDaniel has faced intense pushback for a series of elections where Republicans underperformed expectations. On Sunday, she was responding to a question about Ramaswamy’s attack on her during the debate and his subsequent tweet calling for an interim chair to replace her through January.

At the debate, which took place a day after election day this year, Ramaswamy bemoaned GOP losses, saying, “I am upset about what happened last night. We have become a party of losers, at the end of the day.”

He added, during the debate: “For that matter, Ronna, 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 turn over my — yield my time to you.”

Ramaswamy, the youngest GOP candidate to run for office, is a tech entrepreneur who used his broad media reach and cable TV appearances to propel his campaign for president. 

After his first debate performance, Ramaswamy saw an uptick in the polls, but his recent performances have been more poorly received and he has seen his slight rise in numbers fall in recent weeks.

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