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Haley-Ramaswamy fight gets nastier at 3rd Republican presidential debate

Washington, Nov 9 (IANS) The fight between Indian-American Republican candidates got nastier with former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calling tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy “just a s**m” for bringing up her daughter as a reference at the party’s third presidential primary debate.

At the debate held in Miami on Wednesday, the two sparred over the US policy on TikTok and whether it should be banned in the country because of its Chinese ownership.

The 38-year-old entrepreneur 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 then shot back saying, “leave my daughter out of your voice”, and as Ramaswamy continued to speak, she told him, “you are just a s**m”.

The former South Carolina Governor also took to her X handle on Wednesday to further slam the biotech entrepreneur, which was dismissed by a handful of netizens as “cringe”.

“Vivek, I wear heels. They’re not for a fashion statement — they’re for ammunition,” Haley said, inviting a comment from a user, which said: “All of the comebacks in the world, and you chose cringe.”

The two also locked horns in the previous presidential debate with Haley slamming him for his inexperience on foreign policy issues.

Hitting out at Haley, Ramaswamy’s campaign in a statement said that in a desperate attempt to raise funds for her languishing establishment campaign, the former US ambassador to the UN was intentionally lying about the tech entrepreneur.

Haley blasted Ramaswamy for not backing US allies, and said that “Vivek has no foreign policy experience and it shows”.

Ramaswamy also used the ‘Namrata Randhawa’ instead of Nikki Haley on his website, which she said was a “childish name game”.

“I’m not going to get involved in these childish name games. It’s pretty pathetic. First of all, I was born with Nikki on my birth certificate. I was raised as Nikki. I married a Haley. And so that is what my name is,” Haley told Fox News in response.

In a survey released on Monday by the Des Moines Register, Haley climbed 10 points to 16 per cent, putting her even with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as he struggles to break through against former President Donald Trump.

In addition to Haley and Ramaswamy, three other candidates were on stage for the third debate — former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

The two-hour debate, hosted by NBC News, took off at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

Trump, who has so far retained huge leads in polls, again skipped the debate, instead holding a rally not far from the Miami debate site in Hialeah, Florida.

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