Nikki Haley shreds Vivek Ramaswamy to grab the centre stage during GOP debate

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Wednesday blasted entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy to grab the Centre stage on Wednesday as seven GOP contenders faced each other the second 2024 Republican presidential primary debate. Haley went after him again over his decision to become the first Republican candidate to join Chinese-owned short video app TikTok. Ramaswamy framed the move as a way to help him reach younger voters; Haley called it “infuriating.”

Here’s how the conversation went:

The Moderator Stuart Varney asked Vivek, “You joined TikTok after dinner with boxer and influencer Jake Paul. Should the commander in chief be so easily persuaded by an influencer?”

Ramaswamy responded to it saying he needs to use platforms like TikTok to reach young voters so that he can win, and he reiterated that as president he would bar younger people from using social media.

“So the answer is, I have a radical idea for the Republican Party,” Vivek said. “We need to win elections, and part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are.”

Jumping in, Nikki called Vivek’s position “infuriating.” “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.”

“TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media assets that we could have,” she told him, adding “we can’t trust you.”

Notably, many in the GOP field have criticised TikTok over its ties to China.

The second Republican debate of the 2024 election cycle has kicked off at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. As many as seven candidates are participating – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

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Updated: 28 Sep 2023, 01:22 PM IST