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Ramaswamy’s campaign asks to allow only top four candidates for next debate


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INDIAN AMERICAN presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign has asked the Republican national committee to allow only the top four candidates in national polling to the third Republican primary debate next month, saying another “unhelpful debate” is not an option.

The second Republican debate of the 2024 election cycle, which was held at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, last week, saw Ramaswamy sharing the stage with six other candidates, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador and Indian-American Nikki Haley.

The Ramaswamy campaign sought the change in rules for the third primary debate scheduled to be held in Miami on November 8, CBS News reported.

Ramaswamy asked the party to allow only the top four candidates, aside from former president Donald Trump, according to a letter sent to the Republican national committee (RNC) by Ben Yoho, the CEO of the 38-year-old multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur’s campaign.

“Another unhelpful debate in November is not an option,” Yoho wrote. “Voters are not well-served when a cacophony of candidates with minimal chance of success talk over each other from the edge of the stage, while the overwhelming frontrunner is absent from the centre of that same stage,” the letter said, according to the report.

Ramaswamy, Trump, DeSantis, and Haley appear to have met the qualifications for the third debate stage, according to Politico newspaper.

Trump, who did not attend the second Republican debate last month, will also not attend the third debate in Miami, a Trump campaign adviser, Chris LaCivita, told CBS News. The former president is currently the frontrunner.

Apart from requesting “greater time for candidates to respond to their competitors,” Yoho also appealed for a single debate moderator “who is able to enforce debate rules and avoid candidates indiscernibly shouting over each other,” the report said.

Yoho also asked the donor threshold to be raised to 100,000 unique donors – up from the 70,000-donor limit in the RNC’s current debate criteria.

According to the report, campaigns can’t force the RNC to adjust the debate rules but can lobby for changes.

Yoho’s letter also took a dig at the reported summit of GOP mega-donors and campaign representatives of DeSantis and Republican presidential candidate Haley scheduled for later this month.

“A small group of billionaires has already ‘summoned’ certain PAC (political action committee)-favoured campaigns to a private retreat in Texas to potentially coordinate and consolidate donor support against president Trump,” Yoho wrote.

“Our party’s voters, not mega-donors, should be the ones to properly vet presidential candidates and determine the nominee,” he was quoted as saying.



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