'Fascist neocon with lipstick': Vivek Ramaswamy attacks Nikki Haley as Republican debate turns into 'shout-off' | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  'Fascist neocon with lipstick': Vivek Ramaswamy attacks Nikki Haley as Republican debate turns into 'shout-off'
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'Fascist neocon with lipstick': Vivek Ramaswamy attacks Nikki Haley as Republican debate turns into 'shout-off'

Us Presidential Election 2024: In the debate that was held on Wednesday, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy sought to position themselves as the top alternative to former US president Donald Trump.

Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, from left, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, and Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during the Republican primary presidential debate hosted by Fox Business Network in Simi Valley, California, US, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. (Bloomberg)Premium
Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, from left, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, and Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during the Republican primary presidential debate hosted by Fox Business Network in Simi Valley, California, US, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. (Bloomberg)

The debate between four Republicans candidates in Alabama led to a "shout-off" as the debate turned personal as tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy referred to former UN ambassador Nikki Haley as ‘fascist neocon’ with lipstick. 

Later, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie mocked Ramaswamy’s "smartass mouth". Meanwhile, Florida governor Ron DeSantis said Haley "caves every time the left comes after her". Haley shot back: "I love the attention, fellas. Thank you for that".

According to the Guardian, it all started with Christie trying to defend Haley against Ramaswamy. Ramaswamy reportedly criticised Haley's foreign policy credentials. Defending her, Christie then said, "This is a smart, accomplished woman and you should stop insulting her".

Ramaswamy then reportedly "punched back with a reference to Bridgegate and some casual fat shaming". He then seemed to compare Nikki Haley to Dick Cheney. "You can put lipstick on a Dick Cheney – it is still a fascist neocon (neoconservative)," he was quoted by the Guardian as saying. Dick Cheney is the former Vice President of the US.

In the debate that was held on Wednesday, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy sought to position themselves as the top alternative to former US president Donald Trump.

Both Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis painted Haley as weak on China and in the pockets of corporate interests. Later in the debate, Ramaswamy held up his notepad on which he had written "Nikki = Corrupt".

Meanwhile, strong performances in the previous three debates had contributed to Haley's ascent. With just over a month before the 2024 primary calendar begins, the debate demonstrated how firm Trump's grip remains on the party.

The debate setting in Alabama was another reminder of Trump’s strong position — and how he outpaced an even larger Republican field when he first ran and won in 2016. Trump swept Southern primaries from Virginia to Arkansas and Louisiana in his first campaign. 

But the focus on Haley reflected how other candidates perceive her as a threat to their chances of taking on Trump directly.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have all dropped out of the race after participating in at least one debate. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is continuing his campaign but failed to qualify.

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Published: 07 Dec 2023, 07:51 PM IST
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