During the second Republican presidential debate, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley blasted businessman Vivek Ramaswamy for joining the video-sharing platform TikTok in order to communicate with younger people. She voiced her fears that the social media app TikTok was risky, and she feared that China was collecting data from American users, which made the United States vulnerable.
Haley said that every time she heard Ramaswamy explain his presence on TikTok, she had a “dumber” feeling that made her question her intelligence. She stressed that China may access users’ personal information, including contacts, financial data, emails, and text messages stored on TikTok, and that this information might be accessed by the Chinese government. Haley chastised Ramaswamy for promoting China’s manufacturing of medications and encouraging minors to utilize the platform. This was another one of Haley’s points of contention.
In his response, Ramaswamy called for an honest discussion about party policy rather than insults directed at individual members of the party. He stated that in order for the Republican Party to succeed, it needed to win elections and actively communicate with younger people. Ramaswamy made a commitment to surrounding himself with the most talented and intelligent people and being open-minded to a variety of points of view.
In reaction to the conversation, a representative for Ramaswamy blasted Haley for engaging in personal attacks rather than providing a vision for the future of the nation. At the second debate for the Republican presidential nomination, seven candidates participated, including Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, and Vivek Ramaswamy, as well as Tim Scott.