Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina, criticized entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy for not taking a firm stance against TikTok, suggesting that his position left her feeling “dumber.”
Connecting With Younger Voters
In the second GOP debate, tensions flared as Nikki Haley took aim at her fellow presidential hopeful, Vivek Ramaswamy, for his use of TikTok, a social media platform with well-documented ties to China.
When Ramaswamy explained that his decision to join TikTok was motivated by the need to connect with younger voters and increase the party’s chances of winning back the White House, Haley responded with a scathing remark.
“This is infuriating, because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have,” she said. “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say, because I can’t believe they hear you’ve got a TikTok situation.”
She openly scoffed at his explanation and launched into a passionate diatribe against the platform.
“We can’t trust you! We can’t trust you!” she told him. “We can’t have TikTok in our kids’ lives. We need to ban it.”
Fear of China
Haley’s fiery comment left the audience both shocked and intrigued, with some in the crowd responding with oohs and ahhs, while others applauded her bold stance.
She continued her critique by mentioning the significant concerns she had regarding TikTok’s data-gathering policies, and the potential dangers associated with the app’s data practices.
“This is very important for our party,” she continued. “China knows exactly what they’re doing. This is very important for our party, and I’m going to say it.”
Hurling Personal Insults
Ramaswamy, in an attempt to defuse the situation, interrupted Haley and implored her to refrain from resorting to personal insults.
He urged her to engage in a substantive policy debate, echoing the principles of Ronald Reagan and emphasizing the importance of discussing critical issues respectfully.
“I think we will be better served as a Republican party if we are not sitting here hurling personal insults and actually have a legitimate debate about policy following Reagan’s example and in his honor,” he said.
“And the answer is, that is what actually makes our country strong and I believe in these people. I believe in these people on this stage, they’re good people, but let’s have a legitimate discussion,” he continued.
The tension between Ramaswamy and Haley had been simmering for weeks, with the two candidates clashing during the first GOP debate.
Their relationship wasn’t always characterized by hostility.
Her Featured Endorsement
In the past, Haley had given high praise to Ramaswamy’s book, “Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” published in 2021.
In her review, she lauded Ramaswamy for fearlessly addressing the divisive nature of woke identity politics in America and urged a united approach that uplifts all Americans rather than dividing them.
It’s worth noting that Ramaswamy seemingly appreciated Haley’s endorsement, as he prominently featured her favorable comments on the back cover of his latest book, “Capital Punishment,” which was published this year.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / michelmond