Haley calls Ramaswamy ‘scum’ as Republican debate stage descends to personal attacks – live updates | Republicans

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Haley calls Ramaswamy ‘scum’ after he invokes daughter in debate

It just gets worse and worse between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. When it came the entrepreneur’s turn to talk about his policy on TikTok, Ramaswamy referred to Haley and said, “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”

Haley shot back. “Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. And as Ramaswamy went on, she dismissed him, saying “you are just scum.”

Key events

Most candidates seemed to agree that TikTok is bad, and they all want to ban it. Both Republicans and Democrats in the Capitol seem to agree on this as well.

Montana became the first state in the US to completely ban the app in May, based on the argument that the Chinese government could gain access to user information from TikTok. But in legal proceedings challenging the ban, a federal judge expressed skepticism, saying that Montana had not provided evidence to debunk TikTok’s assertion that it does not share US user data.

More than half of US states and the federal government have banned the app on official devices.

Content creators have said that total bans would harm businesses and violate free speech rights.

The snit between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy is better watched than read.

Thus, you can see the exchange, and hear the audience’s gasps, below:

“Leave my daughter out of your voice … You’re just scum.”

— Nikki Haley hits Vivek Ramaswamy after he brings up the fact that her daughter, like him, uses TikTok. pic.twitter.com/3CKUupHaD1

— The Recount (@therecount) November 9, 2023

Tim Scott said that Biden had sent ‘billions to Iran’, which is misleading.

Scott appears to be referring to a prisoner swap, wherein the Biden administration $6bn (£4.8bn) of Iranian oil money in exchange for the release of five American detainees. The money was not US money, but rather money owed to Iran and frozen by the Trump administration in 2018 when the US left the Iran nuclear deal.

Haley calls Ramaswamy ‘scum’ after he invokes daughter in debate

It just gets worse and worse between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. When it came the entrepreneur’s turn to talk about his policy on TikTok, Ramaswamy referred to Haley and said, “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”

Haley shot back. “Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. And as Ramaswamy went on, she dismissed him, saying “you are just scum.”

Christie backs TikTok ban, accuses app of ‘polluting the minds of American young people’

The debate has resumed with the first question about TikTok, the much-maligned social media network that’s owned by a Chinese firm and beloved by many young people.

“Let me say this: TikTok is not only spyware, it is polluting the minds of American young people all throughout this country, and they’re doing it intentionally,” Chris Christie said. “In my first week as president, we would ban TikTok.”

The debate is now taking a brief break.

Shortly before the pause, Vivek Ramaswamy, who is no stranger to over-the-top, attention-grabbing remarks, appeared to call Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy a “Nazi”.

See the moment here:

Multiple candidates conflated pro-Palestine activism with antisemitism, mischaracterizing the global protest movement against Israel’s killing of more than 10,000 civilians in Gaza.

Nikki Haley compared pro-Palestinian protesters to the K.K.K., while DeSantis said he would quash student groups and questioned the existence of Islamophobia. Most pro-Palestine movements have condemned the Hamas killings in Israel alongside the growing casualties in Gaza. The candidates, however, did not speak to civilian deaths in Gaza on stage.

As the Guardian’s Wilfred Chan recently reported, this sort of rhetoric builds on “decades of organized efforts” to paint pro-Palestine advocates as antisemitic and pro-terrorist:

In 2015, CCR and Palestine Legal published a report on the tactics used by pro-Israel lobbying groups, school administrators and public officials to shut down Palestinian rights activists. They included false accusations of antisemitism or support for terrorism, legal threats and criminal investigations, and they often succeeded in “intimidating or deterring Palestinian solidarity activists from speaking out”, the report found.

Haley says Putin and Xi ‘salivating’ at Ramaswamy’s candidacy

The bad blood between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy was apparent as the former UN ambassador responded to comments he made criticizing aid to Ukraine.

“Putin and President Xi are salivating at the thought that someone like that could become president,” Haley said.

She then strenuously defended assisting Kyiv in its defense against Russia’s invasion:

No, I don’t think we should give them cash. I think we should give them the equipment, the ammunition to win. And I’ll tell you if Biden had done it when they first asked for it, this war would be over. But let’s also remember this – when you left Afghanistan in shambles and left them with a ton of weapons and money, it’s not that we left it’s how we left.

When you look at Ukraine, don’t think for a second now everybody wants to move away from Ukraine. They’ll want to move away from Israel a year from now. America can never be so arrogant to think we don’t need friends. After 9/11, we needed a lot of friends. Now is the time to get partnerships.

‘I believe that we have sleeper terrorist cells in America’ – Scott

Responding to a question on how he would assist Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion, senator Tim Scott pivoted to criticizing the Biden administration’s border policies, and then warned that “terrorist cells” are entering the country from Mexico:

The American people are frustrated that they do not have a president who reminds us and tells us where’s the accountability. Where are those dollars? How are those dollars being spent? We need those answers for us to continue to see the support for Ukraine and at the same time I would say that the package … that’s been offered by the president for Ukraine and Israel, that’s a wrong approach. We need to focus specifically on providing Israel with the $14 billion that they need so that we show the world that we are 100% undeniably standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel. And then, as we turn away from that direct support for Israel, we should go to our southern border and close our southern border with the resources necessary.

I believe that we have sleeper terrorist cells in America. Thousands of people have come from Yemen, Iran, Syria and Iraq. If we’re going to deal with the national security emergency at our border, we have to do it now.

Initially, DeSantis had exaggerated his intervention after Hamas attacked Israel. He received pushback from Israeli diplomats after he falsely claimed credit for aid to Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

The Florida governor claimed he had worked with Israel’s consul general in Miami to send military equipment, including drones, body armor and helmets, though private parties. But Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Israel’s consul general, said Israel had not asked for DeSantis’s help, and that the governor’s involvement was limited to smoothing paperwork requirements for a previously arranged shipment of “rifle parts” ordered by his government.

US exporters seeking to provide support for Israel would need to first get federal authorizations.

DeSantis questions existence of Islamophobia as he vows to protect Jewish students

Responding to a question about what he would do to make Jewish students feel comfortable on college campuses, Ron DeSantis appeared to imply that Islamophobia does not exist.

“And what is Biden doing? Not only is he not helping the Jewish students who are being persecuted, he is launching an initiative to combat so-called Islamophobia,” the Florida governor said.

“No, it’s the antisemitism that is spiraling out of control. That is what we have to confront. And as president, I can tell you this, we are not going to stand for this on college campuses any longer.”

Ron DeSantis attacked the Biden administration for leaving Americans “stranded” in Israel. “There could have been more hostages, if we hadn’t acted,” he said.

It’s true that DeSantis’s administration chartered flights to bring Floridians in Israel back to the US, but the rest of what he said is false.

The hostages were taken before DeSantis took any action to charter flights. Hamas took about 240 hostages when it attacked on 7 October. The group has not appeared to take any further hostages since its initial attack. It is unclear that DeSantis’ chartered planes to Israel would have any impact on Hamas’ actions.

The Biden administration is also sending flights to Israel to evacuate Americans. DeSantis’ administration said that Floridians coming back would not be charged for the flights, whereas the State Department is asking passengers for a refund.

A few minutes later, Nikki Haley responded to Vivek Ramaswamy’s attack.

“I’d first like to say I wear five-inch heels, and don’t wear them unless you can run on them,” she said. “I wear heels not for a fashion statement – they’re for ammunition.”

Asked about his policies towards Israel, Vivek Ramaswamy attacked Nikki Haley for pursuing policies he said fueled wars – and compared her to “Dick Cheney in three-inch heels”.

Cheney is the former vice-president under George W Bush who was seen as fueling that administration’s hawkish actions. From Ramaswamy’s response:

The fact of the matter is the Republican Party is not that much better. You have the likes of Nikki Haley who stepped down from her time at the UN, bankrupt or in debt … Then she becomes a military contractor. She joins the board of Boeing … and is now a multimillionaire. So I think that that’s wrong when Republicans do it or Democrats do it. That’s the choice we face. Do you want a leader from a different generation who is going to put this country first or do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels?

GOP candidates call to ‘finish’ Hamas, back hardline Israel response to attacks

The next question put to the candidates concerned Israel. “As President of the United States, what would you be urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do at this moment?” asked Lester Holt.

All the candidates said they would support Israel in its conflict with Hamas, and backed hardline policies to rout the group from the Gaza Strip.

As Florida governor Ron DeSantis put it:

I will be telling Bibi finish the job once and for all with these butchers Hamas. They’re terrorists. They’re massacring innocent people. They would wipe every Jew off the globe if they could. He cannot live with that threat right by his country, that Hamas should release every hostage and they should unconditionally surrender. I’m sick of hearing the media, I’m sick of hearing other people blame Israel just for defending itself.

Nikki Haley said much the same:

The first thing I said to him when it happened was, I said, finish them. Finish them. And the reason is, I worked on this every day when I was at the United Nations. And we have to remember that they have to one, eliminate Hamas, two, support Israel with whatever they need whenever they need it, and three, make sure we bring our hostages home.

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