- 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.
- 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.”
- Nikki Haley, 51, jumped in when Mr Ramaswamy was responding to a question about him joining TikTok, a social media site that has been banned by many countries, including India.
- Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has slammed Vivek Ramaswamy for joining Chinese-owned TikTok, saying “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 behaviour.
“It’s a shame that Nikki Haley feels she has to resort to personal attacks in lieu of an actual vision for
Asked about his move to join the video-sharing app TikTok, despite it being banned on government-issued devices due to concerns about its parent company’s ties to the Chinese government, Ramaswamy said, “Part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where we are.” Kids under 16 should not be on “addictive social media,” Ramaswamy said, but “we’re only going to ever get to declaring independence from China, which I favour if we actually win.” “This is infuriating because 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,” Haley said.
“One hundred and fifty million people are on TikTok. That means they can get your contacts, they can get your financial information, they can get your emails, they can get your text messages, they can get all of these things. China knows exactly what they’re doing,” she said.
(With inputs from agencies)