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‘Every time I hear you, I feel dumber,’ Nikki Haley slams Vivek Ramaswamy over TikTok and China in GOP Debate

Sep 28, 2023 04:03 PM IST

GOP debate: Heated clash between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy over TikTok and China. Ramaswamy defends app, Haley calls it dangerous.

The second GOP presidential debate was held in California on Wednesday night, featuring seven candidates who are vying for the Republican nomination to challenge President Joe Biden in 2024. The debate was heated and tense, with several clashes and confrontations among the contenders.

TOPSHOT - (L-R) Former Governor from South Carolina and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy speak during the second Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on September 27, 2023. (Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP)(AFP)
TOPSHOT - (L-R) Former Governor from South Carolina and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy speak during the second Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on September 27, 2023. (Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP)(AFP)

One of the most fiery exchanges was between former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who sparred over the issue of TikTok and China.

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Ramaswamy, who recently joined the popular social media app, defended his decision as a way to reach “the next generation of young Americans where they are.”

Haley, however, was not impressed by his argument. She blasted him for supporting a platform that she claimed was dangerous and harmful to the national security of the US. She also accused him of helping China make medicines and of being ignorant about policy.

“This is infuriating because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have and what you’ve got, I honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say,” Haley said.

She explained that China was using TikTok to harvest data from Americans, such as their contacts, financial information, emails, and text messages. She said that China knew exactly what they were doing and that Ramaswamy was making the country more vulnerable.

Ramaswamy responded by saying that he favored declaring independence from China and that he had been very clear that kids under 16 should not use addictive social media. He also said that the Republican Party needed to win elections and that he was the only one who was reaching out to young people.

“I have a radical idea for the Republican Party. We need to win elections.” Ramaswamy said.

“So while the Democrats are running rampant, reaching the next generation 3 to 1, there’s exactly one person in the Republican Party, which talks a big game about reaching young people, and that’s me,” he added.

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He also criticized Haley for hurling personal insults at him instead of having a legitimate debate about policy. He said that the party would be better served if they focused on the issues rather than on attacking each other.

The debate did not seem to end well for Ramaswamy, as his spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin issued a statement after the event, expressing disappointment at Haley’s behavior.

“It’s a shame that Nikki Haley feels she has to resort to personal attacks in lieu of an actual vision for the country,” McLaughlin said.

“I’m sure she didn’t launch personal attacks in the boardroom at Boeing, and the American people expect the same as part of the electoral process.”

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