During Wednesday night’s second GOP debate, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy engaged in a heated exchange over the social media platform TikTok. Ramaswamy, who has been using TikTok to reach young voters, defended his use of the platform, stating, “There’s exactly one person in the Republican Party which talks a big game about reaching young people, and that’s me.”
Haley, however, expressed her concerns over the use of TikTok due to its ties with China, stating, “TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media assets that we could have.” She continued by saying, “Honestly, every time I hear you I feel a little bit dumber,” expressing her frustration with Ramaswamy’s stance.
Ramaswamy responded by suggesting that the Republican Party would be better served by having a legitimate debate about policy rather than hurling personal insults. This exchange marked another instance where Ramaswamy was targeted by his rivals during the debate, similar to the first face-off where his foreign policy views were criticized.
In addition to Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) also took a jab at Ramaswamy over his past business ties to China, stating, “I can’t imagine how you could say that, knowing that you are just in business with the Chinese Communist Party and the same people that funded Hunter Biden millions of dollars was a partner of yours as well.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence also criticized Ramaswamy’s resistance to military aid to war-torn Ukraine. Despite these attacks, Ramaswamy is currently polling in fourth place in the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate of the 2024 Republican pack.