Nikki Haley roasts Vivek Ramaswamy at GOP debate: ‘Every time I hear you I feel a little bit dumber’

Haley drew cheers from the debate audience and viewers on social media

Martha McHardy
Thursday 28 September 2023 16:40 BST
Haley tells Ramaswamy: ‘Every time I hear you I feel a little bit dumber’

Nikki Haley delivered one of the most brutal moments of the second GOP debate as she told Vivek Ramaswamy she feels “dumber” every time she hears him.

The former UN ambassador’s scathing rebuke came as she attacked Mr Ramaswamy’s stance on TikTok during the Republican presidential showdown on Wednesday night.

“This is infuriating, because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have,” said Ms Haley.

“And… honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say,” she added, prompting cheers from the audience.

Mr Ramaswamy was asked why he decided to join the video-sharing app TikTok, despite it being banned on government-issued devices due to concerns about its parent company’s ties to the Chinese government.

He responded: “Part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where we are.”

He conceded that children under 16 should not be on “addictive social media,” but insisted: “We’re only going to ever get to declaring independence from China, which I favor, if we actually win.”

Ms Haley has been a vocal critic of TikTok and its Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance Ltd., as well as China’s influence on US politics.

She previously called for an outright ban on the app during a campaign stop in Nashville, Tennessee in March, calling it a “Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party.”

During the debate on Wednesday, she reiterated her concerns surrounding the security of data on TikTok.

She said: “150 million people are on TikTok. That means they can get your contacts, they can get your financial information, they can get your emails, they can get your text messages, they can get all of these things. China knows exactly what they’re doing.”

“We can’t trust you. We can’t trust you. We can’t have TikTok in our kids’ lives,” she told Mr Ramaswamy.

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