In a heated moment – that culminated in Ms Haley branding him “scum” and refusing to shake his hand at the end of the debate – the far-right candidate singled out his Republican presidential rival’s child on stage.
“In the last debate, [Ms Haley] made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time,” Mr Ramaswamy said, bringing up a month-old comment the former UN ambassador made about his use of TikTok.
“So you might want to take care of your family first,” he added.
His quip prompted booing from the shocked audience while Ms Haley was visibly outraged by the personal attack.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she fired back. “You’re just scum.”
Following the debate, Ms Haley’s son Nalin Haley also leaped to defend his family members, and give Mr Ramaswamy a nickname.
“Vivague Ramaslimey backpedaling more than his receding hairline,” he wrote on X.
“And her account was deleted a very very long time ago. Desperate attack.”
While Ms Haley and her family were far from impressed by his comments, so too were many people on social media who blasted the far-right candidate and said he should never have brought his rival’s daughter into their political spat.
“Good lord…leave the daughter out of this,” MSNBC host and President Joe Biden’s former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
George W Bush’s former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer also agreed that Mr Ramaswamy had gone “too far”.
“Ramaswamy’s attack on Nikki’s daughter is a low blow. He should not have done that. He went too far,” he wrote on X.
Democrat and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro also condemned Mr Ramaswamy’s attack on Ms Haley’s daughter.
“Ramaswamy didn’t do himself any favors by attacking Haley’s daughter. He’s making a generational argument about why he’d be an effective president leading on the economy, but it seems the audience is tuning him out,” he wrote.
Zach Kessel pointed out Mr Ramaswamy’s other unhinged talking points and questioned just how far he might go.
“Ramaswamy’s night so far: 1. Calls Zelensky a Nazi 2. Goes after Nikki Haley’s daughter What’s next? Making fun of cancer patients? Kicking a puppy on the stage?” he asked.
Another social media user chimed in: “BIG TAKEAWAY FROM GOP ‘DEBATE’: Vivek Ramaswamy apparently stalks Nikki Haley’s daughter’s TikTok.”
“I didn’t think I could despise Vivek Ramaswamy more than after he went after Nikki Haley’s daughter. F*** that asshole,” wrote another.
The attack on Ms Haley’s daughter was only one of several wild outbursts from Mr Ramaswamy as the five candidates took to the stage in Miami for the third Republican primary presidential debate.
Among his other unhinged comments were a bizarre assertion that Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk should have been moderating the debate and a shocking moment where he appeared to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “Nazi”.
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