Other Republicans are looking to gain momentum.
On Sunday, Vivek Ramaswamy, who has announced his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, criticized both ex-president Donald Trump for suggesting that the GOP primary debates be abandoned and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his ongoing dispute with Disney.
In transcript provided by Newsmax, Ramaswamy stated, “One of the things I say to conservative audiences across the country is we have to be the party of free speech and open debate. We can’t be the party that … says, ‘I won’t talk to you.’ I’m here talking to you on NBC. There are other candidates in this race that say they won’t talk to NBC News. Ron DeSantis is one of them.”
Furthermore, Ramaswamy expressed his desire to witness other Republicans step up and perform better, particularly during the debate phase within their own party this autumn. This includes Trump.
“I’m not going to let him get away with that,” Ramaswamy said.
He went on to say, “I don’t think the other candidates, including Donald Trump, are going to relish being on that debate stage with me. I think that the way that he’s shown in 2015, what people gave him credit for was that he was an outsider and a disruptor. I’m the outsider in this race. And I think that if you want to be part of, like Joe Biden, in an existing establishment that doesn’t want to debate, I think people are hungry for new blood.”
Ramaswamy also stated that he believes it is his responsibility, as well as that of the other contenders, to inform voters that if they seek someone capable of standing up to Xi Jinping in a negotiation and someone with the courage to confront the administrative state, which is at the top of his domestic agenda, they should not hesitate to participate in a debate with a new contender.
Regarding DeSantis, who is anticipated to announce his bid for the presidential nomination later this month, Ramaswamy claimed that the governor has “gone too far” in his resistance to Disney.
During his conversation with NBC, Ramaswamy acknowledged that he does agree with the notion that “Disney should never have been granted crony-capitalist privileges related to lobbying,” but he also mentioned that one of these privileges was established by law through DeSantis in 2021.
Ramaswamy explained, “So Florida passed this political anti-discrimination statute, which I applauded at the time. It said if you operate internet companies — this includes streaming services like Disney does — that you can’t engage in viewpoint discrimination. Now here’s the funny dirty little secret of that. They wrote a last-minute exception into that law for anyone who also operates a theme park of more than 25 acres in the state of Florida. That’s crony capitalism.”
Ramaswamy also pointed out that DeSantis, who is now criticizing crony capitalism and trying to reverse it, is the same person who passed the law for Disney’s case. “I think this undermines the authenticity of his campaign against crony capitalism. Rather than engaging in political theatrics, I prefer to address the underlying causes,” Ramaswamy added.