But Mr Ramaswamy took the opportunity to erupt into a rant about Republicans’ losing streak.
“We’ve become a party of losers at the end of the day,” Mr Ramaswamy said, a day after Republicans underperformed in off-year elections. “There is a cancer in the Republican establishment.”
Mr Ramaswamy then suggested that Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, was to blame for GOP losses in elections since 2017 when she took office.
The RNC is hosting Wednesday night’s debate which is being aired on NBC News.
“We have lost 2018, 2020, 2022 no red wave that never came, we got trounced last night in 2023, I think we have to have accountability in our party,” Mr Ramaswamy said before inviting Ms McDaniel on the debate stage to resign.
The tech entrepreneur then turned his attention to the debate moderators and suggested that Hugh Hewitt, Lester Holt and Kristen Welker were proof the Republican Party is suffering.
“Think about who is moderating this debate. This should be Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk,” Mr Ramaswamy said. “We’d have 10 times the viewership, asking questions that GOP primary voters actually care about and bring more people into our party.”
The 2024 candidate claimed Democrats would not allow a conservative news anchor or media personality to host their debates.
Mr Ramaswamy then attacked Ms Welker, an NBC News anchor, accusing her of being part of the “corrupt media establishment.”
“The Trump-Russia collusion hoax that you pushed on this network for years was that real or was that Hillary Clinton made up disinformation? Answer the question. Go.” Mr Ramaswamy said.
Mr Ramaswamy’s spirited start to the debate did not answer moderators’ initial question about how he is different from Mr Trump.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies