In a bold move diverging from the status quo, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy advocates for a fresh approach to the GOP debates. Ramaswamy, 38, has proposed a potential fifth GOP debate to be moderated by journalist Tucker Carlson, exclusively on the X platform, formerly Twitter. The initiative aims to rejuvenate the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) approach to engaging with younger voters, an area where Ramaswamy suggests there has been a notable deficiency.
The entrepreneur’s critique extends to the RNC’s choice of moderators, underscoring a perceived disconnect with the primary voters’ interests. “If there’s a January GOP debate, it should be hosted on X, not on cable TV, moderated by someone like Tucker Carlson who might just ask questions that primary voters actually care about,” Ramaswamy expressed on the X platform. This sentiment reflects a broader concern within the party regarding outreach and connection with the electorate, particularly the youth.
If there’s a January GOP debate, it should be hosted on X, not on cable TV, moderated by a someone like @TuckerCarlson who might just ask questions that primary voters actually care about. The RNC says they want to reach younger voters & new audiences? Well, that’s how you do it.
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) November 24, 2023
Ramaswamy’s criticisms are not unfounded, considering the viewership numbers of previous RNC debates, which have been less than stellar. For instance, the first debate managed 12.8 million viewers, and the numbers have dwindled with each subsequent event. Meanwhile, a concurrent interview between President Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson on X during the first GOP debate slot amassed over 300 million views, signaling the potential of alternative media platforms to capture attention.
The RNC’s struggle to captivate audiences is further exacerbated by Trump’s absence from the debates, opting to hold rival events instead. Ramaswamy’s critique on the debate stage in Miami also went viral, emphasizing the string of electoral losses under the current RNC leadership and challenging Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel to account for the defeats.
The suggestion to shift the debate to X and to have it moderated by figures like Carlson, Elon Musk, and Joe Rogan is about changing the medium and altering the narrative and delivery to resonate more with the younger demographic. Ramaswamy, a favorite among debate audiences, argues that such moderators would significantly boost viewership.
Ramaswamy’s stance has struck a chord in a party seeking rejuvenation after a series of disappointing election cycles. The RNC, yet to respond to this proposal, finds itself at a crossroads: continue with the status quo or pivot toward a more dynamic, engaging debate format that could potentially draw in the next generation of Republicans.
This conversation around debate reform is not just about optics; it’s a deeper reflection of the ongoing tug-of-war within the party between traditional methods and a more modern, direct approach to politics and communication. Leveraging his entrepreneurial background, Ramaswamy is positioning himself as a bridge to the younger voter — an electorate the GOP can no longer afford to overlook.