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‘Knives out,’ says Vivek Ramaswamy as Haley, Pence attack his foreign policy

Sep 01, 2023 12:43 PM IST

Indian American presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy criticizes Republican rivals for attacking him as he surges ahead in the race for the White House.

Indian American presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy, whose stocks for a Republican ticket have surged after the first primary debate, hit out at his party rivals for attacking him and said the knives are out because he is surging ahead in the race for the White House.

Republican presidential candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy (L) and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley participate in the first debate of the GOP primary season hosted by FOX News on August 23, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Getty Images via AFP)

Ramaswamy's adversaries like former vice president Mike Pence, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie have begun directing their attacks toward the 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur.

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Haley, another Indian American in the race for the Republican nomination, in an interview, claimed that Ramaswany's foreign policy would make America less safe.

“He has shown that he's naive. The idea that he doesn't think we need to continue to partner with Israel, the idea that now he's saying that we shouldn't worry about Iran getting a nuclear bomb and we shouldn't defend ourselves against Iran,” Haley said.

In a social media post on X, the Republican leader said, “@VivekGRamaswamy must have missed that the fanatical terrorist regime in Iran regularly calls for ‘Death to America.'”

“If he doesn’t see a nuclear Iran as a threat to American security, then he should take his place beside AOC and the Squad and get nowhere near the White House.”

Responding to the criticism, Ramaswamy said, “Another flagrant & dishonest distortion by the neocons. Watch the actual video. I explicitly state we *would* fully support Israel, including militarily, but that we should *not* want U.S. men & women dying in a war between Israel and Iran. If Pence, Haley, Christie, & Rove feel differently, they should have the spine to say how many Americans they’d be prepared to see die in that conflict. I’ll wait.”

Pence also took to X to attack Ramaswamy over his views on American foreign policy and its ties with Israel. He posted, “@VivekGRamaswamy announcing that he will not use military force to defend Israel against Iran demonstrates a profound lack of understanding about defending American interests and our most cherished ally.”

“Weakness Arouses Evil. Vivek’s hesitation to send a clear message of support for Israel will only embolden the radical Islamic mullahs in Tehran as they continue to target innocent American civilians and threaten to annihilate Israel. Peace comes through strength. America Stands With Israel!”

In a video message, Ramaswamy said, “We are continuing to surge in the race and that means the knives are continuing to come out, so we're going to keep debunking the myths as they come up because I think it's important to be transparent and address criticisms.”

He said a lie that is floating around is that he is somehow anti-Israel.

"That’s just dead false and reflects the desperation of frankly, some other candidates who feel like their fundraising might be lagging, and so they need to figure out how to attack him as a way to raise funds," he alleged.

“That's what they seem to be doing. The fact of the matter is our relationship with Israel will be stronger by the end of my first term than it ever has been,” he said, noting that he had been to Israel several times and one of the founding investors in his company is actually an Israeli firm.

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