Name-Calling, Personal Jabs Round Out, TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The fourth Republican presidential debate featured lots of name-calling and personal insults between the candidates who took part.
Name-Calling, Personal Jabs Round Out Top 5 Moments
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sparred often during the discussion, which took place on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday.
Here are the top five heated exchanges from the debate:
On December 6, 2023, Republican presidential candidates attended the fourth GOP presidential debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, from left to right.
1. DeSantis and Ramaswamy Heap Criticism of Haley for Her Ties to Millionaire Benefactors
When Haley defended her ties to banking billionaires and other rich persons, she drew the ire of DeSantis and Ramaswamy.
“Look, we will take support from anyone we can get support from,” Haley said, claiming that backing from corporate millionaires did not imply she agreed with them on policy.
Ramaswamy chastised Haley for receiving donations from corporate CEOs who he said supported environment, social, and governance (ESG) investing, a method in which environmental factors, such as how a firm contributes to pollution or climate change, are considered in investment decisions.
He went on to accuse Haley of being “corrupt,” citing her rich position after only a few years out of government, to which she responded by accusing DeSantis and Ramaswamy of being “jealous” that she had the support of those billionaires.
DeSantis chimed in, saying Haley’s funders were attempting “to use economic power to impose a left-wing agenda” on the country before Ramaswamy quipped that Haley used a book he previously published criticizing ESG as “a how-to manual” rather than a warning about such policies.
2. Christie describes Ramaswamy as an “Obnoxious Blowhard” While Defending Haley
Christie stepped in to defend Haley against Ramaswamy’s criticism of her support for Ukraine’s “pointless” war with Russia.
“One thing Joe Biden and Nikki Haley have in common is that none of them could name three provinces in Eastern Ukraine where we should send soldiers… “She has no idea what the hell those provinces’ names are, but she wants to send our sons and daughters, troops, and military equipment to fight,” Ramaswamy added.
Christie interjected, accusing Ramaswamy of wanting to give Russia “stolen” land, igniting an almost inaudible shouting confrontation between the two that resulted in Christie labeling Ramaswamy an “obnoxious blowhard.”
“We’re now 25 minutes into this debate, and he has now insulted Nikki Haley’s basic intelligence, not her positions, her basic intelligence,” Christie went on to say. “I’ve known her for 12 years, longer than he’s been voting in Republican primaries, and while we disagree on some issues… what we don’t disagree on is that she’s a smart, accomplished woman.” You should quit disrespecting her.”
“Your version of foreign policy experience was closing a bridge connecting New Jersey and New York.” So, do everyone a favor and just walk yourself off that stage, take a wonderful supper, and get the heck out of this race,” Ramaswamy responded.
3. Ramaswamy Draws Up a Piece of Paper on Which Haley is Accused of Corruption
While raging against Haley’s use of identity politics, Ramaswamy pulled up his debate notebook to reveal that he had scribbled in bold letters, “NIKKI = CORRUPT.”
Before raising the paper, Ramaswamy slammed Haley’s use of her gender in her campaign, citing several instances in which she mentioned being a woman.
“She claimed I have a woman problem.” I don’t have a women’s problem, Nikki. You have a corruption problem, and I believe that is what people should be aware of. “Nikki is corrupt,” Ramaswamy declared, holding up the sign.
“This is a woman who will kill your children to buy a bigger house.” This is the issue. Using identity politics more effectively than Kamala Harris is a type of intellectual fraud, according to him.
4. Haley and DeSantis’ Months-Long Feud Over China Continues
DeSantis blasted Haley as the “number one” governor for introducing the Chinese Communist Party into South Carolina during her tenure as governor, citing a video of her welcoming a Chinese corporation while standing next to a Chinese flag.
He continued by claiming that her “liberal donors” would not enable her to be harsh on China.
“First and foremost, he’s angry because those Wall Street donors used to support him, and now they support me,” Haley said, before claiming DeSantis had a history of attracting Chinese businesses to Florida.
DeSantis denied the claim, claiming that one of the corporations she mentioned was an American company and that he had prohibited Chinese citizens from purchasing land in his state.
“I have a track record of standing up and doing what’s right,” DeSantis remarked, to which Haley replied, “You have a track record of lying.”
5. Christie grills DeSantis about former President Donald Trump’s Age
Christie chastised DeSantis for failing to directly answer a question about whether Trump, 77, was still “mentally fit” to be president, instead emphasizing the need for a new generation of leaders.
“How come he doesn’t just answer the question?” The question was straightforward. Is he qualified to be President? The remainder of the discourse is intriguing but entirely unresponsive. If we were in court, they’d strike the answer… “They’d strike the answer because you’re not responding,” Christie explained.
DeSantis rushed in, interrupting Christie as the two began talking over each other inaudibly.
“Is he fit or isn’t he?” Christie yelled repeatedly until the moderators intervened and stopped the back-and-forth.
Before Christie added, “He won’t answer,” DeSantis reiterated another variation of his previous response. He’s terrified to respond.”
“No, I’m not!” DeSantis screamed.
The two began speaking inaudibly over one other once more, forcing the moderators to interrupt the conversation even again. Christie then charged that his opponents were “afraid to offend” Trump.