Ramaswamy to Run Debate Ad Telling You Debate Is 'S---'

Only Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will take the stage for Wednesday night's CNN debate
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2024 11:45 AM CST

Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will go mano-a-mano on the CNN debate stage at 9pm ET Wednesday night. Fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy won't be there—and he hopes you'll stay away too. Fox News reports Ramaswamy will air an ad during the debate that calls on viewers to "turn this s--- off." In it, he accuses CNN and the rest of the mainstream media of "trying to rig the Iowa GOP caucus in favor of the corporate candidates who they can control." "Don't fall for their trick," he says—listing January 6, COVID's origins, and the Hunter Biden laptop story as subjects the people have been lied to about.

But a fix is within reach, he continues. "Take your remote and turn this s--- off." Ramaswamy points his own remote at the camera and the screen goes black. Fox News reports this is the first GOP debate of the election that doesn't follow Republican National Committee requirements. CNN set the bar thusly: To appear, candidates "must receive at least 10% in three separate national and/or Iowa polls of Republican caucusgoers or primary voters that meet CNN's standards for reporting."

RealClearPolitics has Ramaswamy polling at an average of 4% nationwide, with Donald Trump at 62.1%, Haley at 11.4%, and DeSantis at 11%. The corresponding Iowa-specific numbers are 7% for Ramaswamy, 52.2% for Trump, 16.6% for Haley, and 16.4% for DeSantis. In terms of Wednesday night, the stakes are high for Haley and DeSantis with Monday's Iowa caucuses looming. Trump will once more skip the debate and instead participate in a Fox News town hall that airs at the same time. As for the two who will be on the stage together, CNN zeroes in on what it sees as the big question to be answered:

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  • "Will Haley and DeSantis have their eyes on the long game, and team up against Trump? Or will they focus on their immediate futures, and battle for what polls suggest could be a distant second place finish in Iowa next Monday? The answer might not just shape the 2024 primary race, but offer windows into whether either or both candidates have eyes on their own political futures in a post-Trump landscape, as well."
(More Vivek Ramaswamy stories.)

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