US Presidential Polls: Nikki Haley Calls Vivek Ramaswamy ‘Scum' Mid-Debate

At the recent Republican debate, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy clashed over TikTok, revealing a deep-seated rivalry. Read to know the origins of this feud and its implications in American politics.

Oshi Saxena
New Update

(Image Credits - Mike Segar/Reuters)

The recent Republican presidential debate witnessed a fiery exchange between former South Carolina Governor and Republican leader Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Their confrontation centred around TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media application, and Haley's daughter's involvement with it. 


During the debate, five potential candidates engaged in a robust discussion, covering critical issues such as Israel, Ukraine, China, and the future direction of the Republican Party. Notably, former President Donald Trump chose to skip the event, opting for a nearby rally instead. However, the exchange between Haley and Ramaswamy stole the spotlight.

The Genesis of the Feud

The clash between Haley and Ramaswamy traces its roots back to the early Republican debates. It all began at the first debate in Milwaukee when Nikki Haley, a seasoned Republican leader, questioned Ramaswamy's limited foreign policy experience. Her critique of his qualifications sent shockwaves through the political landscape and set the stage for a deepening rivalry between the two candidates.

TikTok Takes Center Stage

During the third Republican presidential debate, the tension reached its zenith. Vivek Ramaswamy, who had recently joined TikTok, referred to Haley's previous criticism of his presence on the platform during the second Republican primary debate held in California in September. He asserted, "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."


This remark did not sit well with Nikki Haley, who promptly retorted, "Leave my daughter out of your voice." However, Ramaswamy continued undeterred, arguing that "the next generation of Americans are using it, and that's actually the point." In response to this, Nikki Haley whispered into the microphone, "You're just scum." This exchange was a reflection of the passionate arguments on stage.

An Ongoing Rivalry

The animosity between these two Indian-origin leaders has simmered since the early Republican debates and has only intensified with time. At the second debate in California, Haley did not mince her words when she said, "Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber."

But it wasn't just Nikki Haley who faced Ramaswamy's criticism. He also directed his ire toward Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and NBC News's Kristen Welker, who served as one of the debate moderators. He accused Welker of being part of the "corrupt media establishment" and questioned her role in the "Trump-Russia collusion hoax." This marked a moment when the debate delved into the issues surrounding the 2016 election, reflecting the ongoing tensions in American politics.

The row between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy over TikTok serves as a striking reflection of the multifaceted issues that dominate today's Republican landscape in a political climate dominated by bitter rivalry and debate. While their conflict is laden with strong sentiments, it shows the relevance of family, values, and the constantly evolving role of technology in American society.


Suggested reading: Nikki Haley Fires Back At US Republican Presidential Debate: Read Here


Nikki Haley Vivek Ramaswamy US Elections 2024