GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley laid into fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Wednesday over his stance on TikTok.
Fox Business debate moderator Stuart Varney asked Ramaswamy why he joined TikTok during an event with boxer and social media influencer Jake Paul. Ramaswamy replied that he was hoping to reach "the next generation of young Americans," while adding that children under the age of 16 should be banned from social media.
Haley was incredulous. “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber,” she said to the fast-talking Ramaswamy. “This is infuriating because TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps we could have.”
“You're now wanting kids to get on this social media that's dangerous for all of us?” Haley said. “We can’t trust you.”
Ramaswamy responded by saying Republicans would be better off if they didn’t hurl “personal insults” and instead engaged in “legitimate debate” on policy.
Other candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, had hit Ramaswamy earlier in the debate. In the first debate, Ramaswamy had repeatedly called other candidates “bought and paid for.”
“I thought about that for a little while and said, ‘You know, I can't imagine how you can say that knowing you were just in business with the Chinese Communist Party,’” Scott said.
Scott said Ramaswamy partnered with some who funded President Joe Biden's son Hunter.
Ramaswamy called that “nonsense” and said he initially opened a subsidiary in China for his business, but then "got the hell out of there."
His firm, Roivant Sciences, entered a partnership in 2018 with a Chinese government-backed private equity firm.
Pence also went after Ramaswamy on the issue.
“I'm glad Vivek pulled out of his business deal in 2018 in China. That must have been about the time you decided to start voting in presidential elections,” Pence said.
Ramaswamy has previously said he voted in 2004 for a libertarian presidential candidate but then not again until 2020, voting for former president Donald Trump.