GOP Debate: Ramaswamy Hogs Debate Time; Haley Tears Into Him
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – For the first time in the history of the US, two Indian American presidential candidates locked horns over the country’s foreign policy in the Republican party’s first presidential debate.
While the Donald Trump supporter Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, pledged to be on the former president’s side even if he was found guilty, Nikki Haley, 51, often seen as opportunistic, seemed more nuanced in her approach.
On August 23, as Ramaswamy came off as a provocateur, hogging air time, post-debate reports from the media on TV and in print, generally said he had a good night but almost all dismissed his chances of rising high in the primaries. Several also said all that he had for himself at the moment was youth, outrageous statements, and paper-thin administrative abilities. Ramaswamy has funded his own campaign and to translate that into votes in Iowa would be a challenge. The fact remains that those Republicans who are looking for an alternative to the legally challenged Trump could find him interesting.
At the debate, Haley accused Ramaswamy of supporting America’s foreign adversaries and abandoning its friends and said that her GOP rival lacked foreign policy experience. Asserting that a win for Russia is a win for China, Haley said that Ukraine is the first line of defense for the US, which Ramaswamy doesn’t understand and wants to hand over Kiev to Moscow.
“The problem that Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t understand is he wants to hand Ukraine to Russia, he wants to let China eat Taiwan, he wants to go and stop funding Israel,” Haley said. “You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends,” Haley said even as Ramaswamy interrupted her on and off, calling her accusations false.
Ramaswamy, who was the only presidential candidate to raise a hand when Fox News moderators asked who would not keep supporting Ukraine, argued the US should focus on protecting its own border first. Stating that Haley was “pushing this lie” about him, Ramaswamy accused her of backing Ukraine at the behest of defense contractors. And in something that has become typical, “I wish you well in your future career on the boards of Lockheed (Martin) and Raytheon,” Ramaswamy told Haley.
The youngest presidential hopeful had recently unveiled his foreign policy vision at the Nixon Presidential Library, which called for less involvement in foreign affairs that do not directly concern the US.
Haley said Ramaswamy is choosing Russian President Vladimir Putin who has said that once they take over Ukraine Baltic states are the next.
“That’s a World War we are trying to prevent… You are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country,” Haley blasted Ramaswamy in a heated exchange of words, warning that Ramaswamy’s moves could cost America’s security.
Earlier, another GOP rival Chris Christie tore into Ramaswamy during the debate, calling him an “amateur” Obama, and sounding like a ChatGPT.