Ingraham Says First GOP Primary Debate Is Proof ‘Old Guard’ Republican Party Is Gone


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham said during her monologue on Thursday, a day after the first Republican primary debate, that she believes it proved the so-called “old guard” GOP was being replaced with conservative populism that appeals more to ordinary Americans.

“So we have won this debate inside the GOP, period, end of story. Now, it’s just a question of beating the Democrats and attracting more independents, which we are already doing,” Ingraham declared.

“How many Americans today want our economy tied to China’s? How many are rah-rahing our getting mired in more wars? How many want illegal aliens flooding our country? How many want our government weaponized against political enemies?” she continued.

“It’s happening at a state level tonight. How many people think that Hunter Biden was just an ambitious international capitalist or that his father wasn’t helping him? So, who won the debate last night? The American people won the debate last night. Because we showed, once again, that the Republican party is moving in a new direction,” she added.


She also said that it was obvious former President Donald Trump’s policies of putting America and American workers ahead of other nations were substantially more popular within the GOP ranks than the globalist view of Republican candidates like former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison, among others.


The host also said the two candidates on stage who appeared to embrace those policies the most were Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and business entrepreneur Vivik Ramaswamy.

Later in the program, Ramaswamy came on as a guest and defended Trump after his fourth arrest earlier in the day on Thursday in Fulton County, Ga., on charges related to the 2020 election, suggesting to her that what’s really going on is a left-wing attack on the nation’s “civic health.”

“I think this is shameful, Laura. This is an indictment not of Donald Trump but of our national civic health. That we have gotten to a place where we have a party in power that will use any charge in any jurisdiction, four at the same time, in the middle of an election designed, mark my words, to stop their lead political rival currently from running,” he said.

“And I’m saying this coming out of a debate last night that went very well, in many national polls, I’m now in second,” he said. “It would be easier for me if my competitor in this primary, Donald Trump, were eliminated from the competition. But that is not how I want to win. That is not grounded in principle.

“We are skating on thin ice as a country right now, Laura. And I think this takes us one step further in the wrong direction. We have to stand on the side of principle, not politics. That goes for everybody in this GOP primary. And I have been vocal for a reason,” Ramaswamy continued.

Ingraham responded:

Nobody knew who you were five minutes ago. I know who you are because of your book, and we have done so many interviews over the years I have known you. Our viewers are still getting to know you, and yet, you are number two and three in these polls. “The Washington Post” put you at finishing second behind Desantis last night. But you and Desantis combined are at 55%. All six of the other candidates on stage together, combined, didn’t beat You and DeSantis. That’s pretty stunning.

“I think the debate was really useful last night. It smokes out real ideological differences in the GOP. That’s going to make the party and the country stronger. That was a successful evening,” he replied.


“The reality for me, Laura, is that even though we had some, what I would call banter on the basketball court last night, I still view the other people on that stage as colleagues in our national revival. I expect to be the next president. I expect to win in a landslide,” he continued.

“But I will require, respectfully, each of those people to play their respectful roles in our national revival, as well in some way, because this is a team sport. And you brought this up earlier. It’s not the job of the U.S. president to automatically bring back faith in the country. But I do think it’s an important point to pause on where the left feeds our vacuum of purpose with race, gender, sexuality, climate,” the business entrepreneur added.

“I do think we, as conservatives, need to now level up. So we are not just criticizing that agenda but offering an actual vision of our own: individual, family, nation, God. I’m leading the way on that, but I’m going to need the other people on that stage to play their part in revival, too,” he added.

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