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The Hill: GOP strategist: Haley ‘ran a great general debate,’ Ramaswamy ‘ran a primary debate’

August 24, 2023 -- Republican strategist Sarah Chamberlain said Nikki Haley’s debate performance Wednesday was akin to one aimed at a general election audience, while Vivek Ramaswamy “ran a primary debate.”

Chamberlain, the president and CEO of Republican Main Street Partnership, said GOP candidates need to appeal to Republican voters — especially supporters of former President Trump — to lock up the nomination before they can start thinking about the general election, which was the strategy Ramaswamy utilized at the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 cycle.

The comments came during The Hill’s event, “2024 Debate Breakdown: An Insider’s Look at the First Republican Presidential Debate,” which streamed Thursday morning.

“Right now they’ve got to be pulling the Trump voters away from Donald Trump. In order to do that, you have to do what Vivek did last night,” said Chamberlain, who is also the president and founder of Women2Women Conversations Tour. “Nikki Haley ran a great general debate, Vivek ran a primary debate, and that’s just the difference between the two.”

“In order to get to the general we have got to get through a primary,” she continued. “And I would say, you know, we talk about the more mainstream Republicans, but they’re not voting in the primaries, and that’s a problem. So the people who are voting in the primaries, we have to go out and appeal to in order to get to the general, and that’s what happened last night.”


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