US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy calls rival Nikki Haley “fascist” and “corrupt”

Indian-origin US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called his Indian-origin rival Nikki Haley “fascist” and “corrupt” in a tirade at the Republican Party’s fourth presidential debate. The subject of his barbs said that giving him a response was “not worth” her time.

Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy
Indian-origin Republican leaders Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy are at loggerheads. Photo courtesy: Instagram/nikkihaley; vivekgramaswamy

Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur, launched his full-fledged attack on the former South Carolina Governor during the debate, which was also attended by fellow candidates Chris Christie, former New Jersey Governor, and Ron DeSantis, incumbent Florida Governor.

The front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination, former US President Donald Trump, skipped the debate once again and held a fundraiser in Florida instead.

Participating in the debate, Ramaswamy, 38, accused Haley, 51, of having “a corruption problem” and held up a pad of paper with “NIKKI = CORRUPT” written on it. This resulted in a mix of boos and cheers from the audience.

Ramaswamy called Haley, who is also a former US Ambassador to the United Nations, “a puppet” and accused her of “using identity politics” as “a form of intellectual fraud.”

“Nikki, you were bankrupt when you left the UN. After you left the UN, you became a military contractor,” he started and recounted her journey to end with another allegation: “That math doesn’t add up. It adds up to the fact that you are corrupt.” When asked by the presidential debate moderator to respond to the allegations, Haley said, “It’s not worth my time to respond to him.”

Feud over social media user verification

However, Ramaswamy did not give up and continued to attack Haley. He said next, “The only person more fascist than the Biden (US President Joe Biden) regime now is Nikki Haley, who thinks the government should identify every one of those individuals with an ID. That is not freedom, that is fascism, and she should come nowhere near the levers of power, let alone the White House.”

Ramaswamy was referring to a recent remark by Haley in which she said, “Every person on social media should be verified, by their name. That’s [because], first of all, it’s a national security threat. When you do that, all of a sudden, people have to stand by what they say.

“And [also] it gets rid of the Russian bots, the Iranian bots, and the Chinese bots. And then you’re gonna get some civility, when people know their name is next to what they say.”

Haley defended her remarks on the debate stage. “What I said was that social media companies need to show us their algorithms. I also said there are millions of bots on social media right now. They’re foreign. They’re Chinese. They’re Iranian.”

I will always fight for freedom of speech for Americans. We do not need freedom of speech for Russians and Iranians and Hamas. We need social media companies to go and fight back on all of these bots that are happening.

Nikki Haley, US presidential nomination aspirant from the Republican Party

She continued, “As a mom, do I think that social media would be more civil if we went and had people’s names next to that? Yes, I do think that, because I think we’ve got too much cyber-bullying. I think we’ve got child pornography and all of those things. But having said that, I never said the government should go and require anyone’s names.”

Haley, whose popularity has been on the rise, was also attacked by DeSantis. “She caves anytime the Left comes after her, anytime the media comes after her,” he said.