You can call the third Republican presidential debate many things, but boring isn’t one of them.
During Wednesday’s debate, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called presidential rival Vivek Ramaswamy “Scum” after he brought up her daughter on the debate stage.
Nikki Haley to Vivek Ramaswamy after he brings up that her daughter uses TikTok: "Leave my daughter out of your voice…Youre just scum." pic.twitter.com/fVRO6FJvlc
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 9, 2023
From the New York Post:
Haley has previously mocked Ramswamy’s defenses for his prolific use of the app, which some Republican lawmakers allege is a tool used by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on Americans.
At the second debate Sept. 27, Haley told the political newcomer that “TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have. And … honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”
Nikki Haley calls Vivek Ramaswamy DUMB pic.twitter.com/Qq2iocB0dV
— Revelo Project (@ReveloProject) September 28, 2023
When asked Wednesday by conservative radio talk show host and debate moderator Hugh Hewitt about how he can go about banning the Chinese-owned app given his own use of it on the campaign trail, Ramaswamy went after Haley.
“In the last debate, [Haley] made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time. So you might want to take care of your family first,” Ramaswamy said.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley shot back in a response that drew a massive cheer from the crowd at Miami’s Arsht Center, as well as a few boos from Ramaswamy.
“We have to ban any US company actually transferring US data to the Chinese,” he said, before taking one last dig at Haley.
“Now it’s popular to talk tough on China. When she was UN Ambassador, she called them, literally her words not mine, ‘Our great friend.’ You can’t be fair weather fans of the right policy.”
Haley explained that she made the remark during a period of intense negotiations between the US, China and Russia to impose “the largest set of sanctions against North Korea in a generation.”
After the debate, Ramaswamy shut down suggestions that his comment was a low blow.
From The Hill:
Ramaswamy said the comment was a snide critique of Haley’s parenting.
“The error is somebody sanctimoniously lecturing the rest of the country about the perils of [TikTok] while actually failing to set an example of leadership a little closer to home,” he said. “We have to show up and engage with the next generation. That’s the point I was making, and I stand by it.”
— gary (@gporter812) November 9, 2023
Ramaswamy called out other GOP candidates for refusing to use the app, which he has embraced in an attempt to court younger voters.
“I think that this is part of my problem with the older generation of Republicans,” he said. “They say, ‘Well, TikTok has some vague bad things with China,’ failing to recognize even American-owned companies hand over their user data to China.”