GOP presidential hopefuls—Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie—have been threatened with expulsion from future debates by the Republican National Committee (RNC) after the duo decided to hold a discussion on Fox News.
“The GOP needs more actual argument on substance, not fake one-liners. I agreed to spar with @ChrisChristie tomorrow for a full hour on Fox at 6pm,” Mr. Ramaswamy said in an Oct. 3 post on X, with Mr. Christie confirming the meeting.
However, it was later revealed that the RNC threatened to ban them from the next GOP primary debate if they took part in the discussion.
“It is very disappointing that we were threatened with exclusion from the Miami debate and future debates for trying to have a more complete dialogue with each other and the voters,” Mr. Christie said in an Oct. 3 X post.
“Every campaign was offered that opportunity by Fox News and they have now been effectively banned by the RNC,” he said.
“I am always up for those discussions—it’s a shame the RNC and @realDonaldTrump aren’t.”
Mr. Christie stressed the need for the GOP to have “more debates and in-depth discussion, not less.”
He praised Mr. Ramaswamy for his willingness to engage with him.
“When the RNC stops conversations between candidates from happening, that is real cause for concern,” Mr. Christie stated.
In response to the RNC threat, Mr. Ramaswamy said that while the second GOP debate was a “disgrace,” he is beginning to believe that it was done “by design.”
“This is what a brokered and rigged nomination process looks like,” he wrote in an X post.
“Instead of allowing open dialogue and the airing of ideas to give primary voters a real choice, the Establishment would rather cut backroom deals and offer up phony debates, including candidates with no viable path and questions that no voter would ever ask,” Mr. Ramaswamy said.
“It’s pathetic that the Super PAC puppet masters have now ‘summoned’ their favored Establishment puppets to broker a path to defeating Trump instead of allowing GOP voters to make a real choice on their own by hearing directly from candidates. Republican voters deserve better than this broken process.”
In order to take part in the GOP presidential debates, potential candidates must sign a pledge agreeing that they will not take part in any debate during the campaign that is not sanctioned by the RNC.
A spokesperson from RNC criticized Mr. Christie and Mr. Ramaswamy for their outbursts against the committee.
“The same candidates complaining about the rules governing RNC debates all signed a pledge and agreed months ago to not participate in unsanctioned debates,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“The RNC will continue to enact a fair, transparent debate process and we will not give in to pressure from individuals seeking to change the rules to favor their candidacy.”
Ramaswamy Versus Christie
There have been two GOP presidential debates so far. Both Mr. Christie and Mr. Ramaswamy have been at loggerheads on several issues, with their conflict evident during the events.
In the first GOP debate, Mr. Christie compared Mr. Ramaswamy to ChatGPT. When Mr. Ramaswamy called former President Donald Trump the “best president of the 21st century,” Mr. Christie responded by saying “you make me laugh.”
In the second debate, the two disagreed on the Ukraine issue. Mr. Christie batted for continued American support for Ukraine while Mr. Ramaswamy called for ending the support and seeking a peace deal with Russia.
President Trump did not take part in either of the debates. The third debate is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Miami and will have stricter participation requirements.
In the first debate, a candidate needed to secure 1 percent support in three national polls or 1 percent in two national polls and two early state polls. For the third debate, this has been upped to 4 percent in two national polls or 4 percent in one national poll and 4 percent in two early state polls.
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina are classified as “early states.” While the first debate required participants to secure 40,000 unique donors, the third one raised the bar to at least 70,000 unique donors.
During the second GOP debate, multiple candidates called out President Trump for not taking part in the discussions. President Trump said he skipped the events owing to the large lead he enjoys in polls.
The Trump campaign has called on the RNC to “immediately cancel” the Nov. 8 debate in Miami as well as all future debates so as to “refocus its manpower and money on preventing Democrats’ efforts to steal the 2024 election,” campaign senior advisors Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said in a statement.
“Anything less, along with other reasons not to cancel, are an admission to the grassroots that their concerns about voter integrity are not taken seriously and national Republicans are more concerned about helping Joe Biden than ensuring a safe and secure election.”
In a Sept. 29 X post, InteractivePolls said that President Trump posted the “biggest lead yet” over his rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis following the second debate.
While President Trump received 63 percent support, Mr. DeSantis was far back with only 12 percent support, followed by Mr. Ramaswamy with 7 percent, former Vice President Mike Pence with 5 percent, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley with 5 percent, and Mr. Christie with 3 percent.