Ramaswamy’s age, political inexperience and foreign policy beliefs that buck traditional GOP orthodoxy about the United States’ role as leader of the free world all drew attacks during Wednesday’s debate. Rival candidates accused him of being either naive about the dangers posed by Russia and China or shamelessly exploiting an increasingly isolationist bent in the GOP to advance his political standing.
DeSantis had been widely expected to tangle with Ramaswamy, but he left the attacks to other Republicans on the debate stage who are mired in the single digits in the polls. Some of the harshest criticism came from Pence, whose frustration was visible as he slammed Ramaswamy’s comment that a president should focus on the U.S.-Mexico border and issues at home instead of intervening in Ukraine and abroad.
Pence said the United States is fully capable of doing both.
“Let me explain it to you, Vivek,” Pence said. “I’ll go slower this time.”
“Now is not the time for on-the job training,” he added. “We don’t need to bring in a rookie.”
Former Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Nikki Haley of South Carolina also weighed in.
“I’ve had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing up here,” Christie said after Ramaswamy attacked the other GOP candidates as “super PAC puppets” who were “bought and paid for.”
After a testy debate over the United States’ role overseas, Haley looked at Ramaswamy and declared, “You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows.”