In a fiery exchange during the second GOP debate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley didn’t mince words when addressing fellow Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. As the two candidates took the stage, Haley told Ramaswamy, “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”
Nikki Haley to Vivek Ramaswamy:
"Honestly, every time I hear you I feel a little bit dumber." pic.twitter.com/gdMAbs3swy
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 28, 2023
The confrontation between the two candidates was sparked by Ramaswamy’s response to a question about the Chinese-based social media app TikTok. Ramaswamy defended his use of TikTok, emphasizing the importance of reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are.
He stated, “We need to win elections, and part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are.” Ramaswamy also underscored his commitment to assembling a diverse team of advisers, highlighting his desire for different perspectives.
He proclaimed, “That’s how I built my companies. I want to be challenged. I want people who disagree with me. That’s what makes America great because we’re not a perfect nation. We’re founded on the pursuit of perfection. And that is what makes America great.” Haley, however, vehemently disagreed with Ramaswamy’s stance on TikTok.
She found his position “infuriating” and didn’t hold back in expressing her concerns. Haley criticized TikTok for its data collection practices, warning that the app could access users’ contacts, financial information, emails, and text messages. She argued that China was fully aware of the extent of data it could gather through TikTok.
Furthermore, Haley raised questions about Ramaswamy’s business ties with China, specifically mentioning an alleged connection to Hunter Biden’s financial dealings. She stated, “We can’t trust you.”
The exchange between Haley and Ramaswamy encapsulated the broader debate within the Republican Party about how to engage with emerging technologies and the potential national security risks associated with apps like TikTok.
The discussion about TikTok also tapped into broader concerns regarding data privacy and national security. With millions of users on the platform, TikTok has been the subject of scrutiny due to its Chinese ownership. The fear is that user data could potentially be accessed or misused by the Chinese government.
As the debate continued, it became evident that these differences in perspective on issues like technology, national security, and generational outreach will continue to shape the Republican primary race as we approach the Presidential Election next year.