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GOP leadership blasted in third debate amid calls for party accountability

Published in Blog on November 09, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

The third Republican presidential debate took place on Wednesday night, showcasing a notably more civil tone compared to the two previous political showdowns. Five candidates discussed various issues, from foreign policy to the economy, outlining their vision for the future of the party. However, it was the criticism directed towards Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the GOP, that stole the spotlight during the event.

The debate's frontrunner, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, set the stage by expressing a sentiment that resonated with many in the party: "I'm sick of Republicans losing." He questioned the unfulfilled promises from Trump's 2016 campaign, such as making Mexico pay for the border wall, draining the swamp, and addressing the national debt. DeSantis proudly touted his accomplishments in Florida, highlighting his historic victory and significant support in Miami-Dade County.

Vivek Ramaswamy did not mince words when addressing the party's recent track record. He declared, "I'm upset about what happened last night. We've become a party of losers at the end of the day, a cancer of the Republican establishment." Ramaswamy's frustration was evident, as he pointed out the GOP's losses in key elections since Ronna McDaniel assumed her role in 2017. These losses included the midterms in 2018, the presidential election in 2020, and the 2022 midterm elections, during which the expected red wave failed to materialize.

Ramaswamy's call for accountability created tensions as he challenged McDaniel, who was sitting in the audience, to come on stage and resign, should she be unable to provide answers. At the conclusion of the debate when the candidates mingled on stage with their families and supporters, cameras panned McDaniel and Ramaswamy in a heated, finger-pointing discussion. 

“We cannot be attacking other Republicans and win elections,” McDaniel said after the debate. 

A mere days after Democrats secured many election victories, McDaniel and the entire party leadership face scrutiny, and it remains to be seen how they will respond to the concerns raised during the debate. As the 2024 presidential race continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether the GOP can bridge these divisions and find common ground on key issues. The challenges and criticisms brought up during the debate signal the need for the party to address its internal concerns and present a united front to voters in the upcoming election.

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SEE ALSO: COS launches Project POTUS to urge presidential candidates to support the Article V movement


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