Vivek Ramaswamy Mad About Likely Not Qualifying For CNN's Iowa Debate

The 2024 GOP candidate and his self-funded campaign have struggled in recent weeks.
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GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy, whose poll numbers are likely too low to allow him to participate in CNN’s upcoming GOP presidential debate in Iowa, lashed out at the network on Tuesday.

In a statement, the biotech entrepreneur claimed that the polling requirements amount to “a desperate bid by CNN to limit the scope of debate in the Republican presidential primary and to prop up the least conservative and most corrupt candidate in the race (Nikki Haley),” referring to the former U.N. ambassador who is also in the 2024 GOP contest.

Ramaswamy said he’ll be attending a competing event with conservative podcaster Tim Pool in Des Moines instead.

To qualify for the Jan. 10 debate, each candidate must be polling at least 10% in three surveys, including one CNN poll of likely Iowa GOP caucusgoers. Ramaswamy has consistently polled well under 10%, and Tuesday’s attack against CNN is likely a bid to preempt the network’s debate announcement.

Ramaswamy’s self-funded campaign has struggled in recent weeks. It stopped spending money on television ads, a major way of getting your message out in early-nominating states. Ramaswamy instead seems to be adopting a strategy of bashing the media and sharing conspiracy theories to draw eyeballs.

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, the front-runner in the race by a mile, is scheduled to attend a Fox News town hall at the same time as the CNN debate, in another bid to counterprogram his dwindling GOP competition. Trump, who was impeached for inciting an insurrection, is skipping the primary debates entirely.

Last month, Trump said he would be willing to participate in a primary debate if the race comes down to just him and a single rival after the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 23.

“Yeah, I would, if it was very close. I would debate that Republican,” Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt.

On Tuesday, Haley again called on Trump to attend the Iowa debate alongside herself and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“With only three candidates qualifying for the CNN debate, it’s time for Donald Trump to show up,” Haley said. “As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide.”

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