RNC chair: Republican infighting 'not helping' party

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel said that infighting within the GOP is “not helping” the party after presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called Republicans the “party of losers.”

CNN’s Dana Bash asked McDaniel what her response was to Ramaswamy’s comments at the debate, where he blamed her for the Republicans’ election losses in recent years. Ramaswamy said Republicans have had poor election results since McDaniel became the chair of the RNC in 2017, mentioning losses in the 2018 and 2022 midterms and the 2020 presidential election.

“We have to have accountability in our party. For that matter, Ronna, if you wanna come onstage tonight, you wanna look the GOP voters in the eye and tell ’em you resign, I will turn over my —yield my time to you,” he said.

McDaniel dismissed his comments and suggested that divisions within the Republican Party are only hurting them.

“This Republican-on-Republican infighting — I’m not running for president so I’m not in this primary — isn’t helping our party,” McDaniel answered. “We lost races in 2022 because of vitriol within our party. We need every Republican and then some to win elections. And the Republican voters want to hear us talk about the border, fentanyl, Israel, our kids, crime, inflation, and they want to see us take on Joe Biden.”

Ramaswamy also took aim at the “corrupt media” during his opening remarks, suggesting that more conservative moderators should be asking the questions at the debate.

“Think about who’s moderating this debate: This should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk. We’d have 10 times the viewership, asking questions that GOP primary voters actually care about and bringing more people into our party,” he said.

When asked about his comments about NBC News hosting the debate, McDaniel emphasized that Republicans should not be projecting to an “echo chamber” all the time. She also said she stands by the RNC’s choice to go with a “non-conservative media outlet” for the debate.

“We’re not going to win elections if we sit in the echo chamber of Republican, Republican media, and don’t talk to other voters about these issues,” she said. “Tonight, people maybe for the first time watching NBC heard that 75,000 people died of fentanyl last year. Maybe they learned things about our party that they haven’t heard and took a look at one of our candidates and said, ‘Maybe I’m gonna vote for them.’”

“That’s what we have to do as a party. And if you can’t take a tough question, then you probably shouldn’t be running for president,” she added.

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