Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy started off the third Republican presidential debate by turning the tables on the NBC panel hosting the event.
Ramaswamy was asked why he should be the GOP nominee for president in 2024 rather than former President Donald Trump. The businessman said the Republican Party has been on a losing streak and put blame on RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
Ramaswamy, however, then set his sights on the moderators themselves.
“Think about who’s moderating this debate, this should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Elon Musk. We’d have 10 times the viewership, asking questions the GOP primary voters actually care about and bring in more people to our party. We got Kristen Welker here, you think the Democrats would actually hire Greg Gutfeld to host a Democratic debate?” Ramaswamy asked.
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
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) November 9, 2023
“The fact of the matter, and Kristen I’m gonna use this time cause this is actually about you and the media and the corrupt media establishment, ask you the Trump-Russia collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years — was that real? Or was that Hillary Clinton made up disinformation? Answer the question. Go.” (RELATED: ‘Just To Embarrass Our Candidates’: Strategists Question Whether Next RNC Debate Even Matters At All)
The crowd erupted with immediate applause as Welker smiled. The RNC has faced criticism from some conservatives for not living up to promises to use presidential debates to lift up independent, conservative media.
Welker’s family has previously donated nearly $20,000 to former President Barack Obama and $3,300 to President Joe Biden’s campaign, according to a New York Post report. The family also reportedly made contributions to Clinton and The Democratic National Committee. While Welker’s parents’ actions do not necessarily reflect her beliefs, the optics of having a moderator whose parents shelled out thousands for one of candidates on the stage in 2020 seems a bit convoluted. Welker moderated a 2020 debate.