RNC Chief Hits Back at Ramaswamy Criticism: 'He's at 4 Percent. He Needs a Headline'

Vivek Ramaswamy
(Getty Images)
November 9, 2023

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel hit back at presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Thursday after he called for her resignation Wednesday night.

"He's at 4 percent. He needs a headline," she told Fox Business's Stuart Varney. "I'm gonna say what I've been saying to Republicans all along. Our headlines 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 in Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate blamed McDaniel for a lackluster performance from Republicans in state races Tuesday.

"Since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022—no red wave that never came," he said. "We got trounced last night in 2023, and I think that we have to have accountability in our party. 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 yield my time to you."

McDaniel also slammed Ramaswamy in her interview Thursday when she said that the committee does not involve itself in state races like the ones in which Republicans had lackluster performances Tuesday. She accused him of voting for former president Barack Obama.

"The RNC doesn't do state races," she said. "We're a federal committee, so we weren't involved in those races on Tuesday. I know Vivek is kind of newer to the party—he voted for Obama—so he may not know that."

Ramaswamy claimed that he did not vote in a presidential election until 2020, though reports later revealed that he voted in 2004 for Libertarian Michael Badnarik. He disputed on Thursday that he ever voted for Obama.

He responded to the interview on X, writing that McDaniel was "flat-out *lying* by saying I voted for Obama."

In the interview, McDaniel also denied reports that she talked to Ramaswamy after the debate.

McDaniel was not Ramaswamy's only target in Wednesday's debate. The 38-year-old entrepreneur attempted to defend his use of TikTok by claiming that former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley's daughter was "actually using the app for a long time" and called on Haley to "take care of your family first before preaching to anybody else."

That remark drew boos from the audience and caused Haley to tell Ramaswamy, "You're just scum."