Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) went after fellow presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Thursday, saying his comments about former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley’s teenage daughter during Wednesday’s debate were “out of bounds.”
During the debate, Ramaswamy criticized Haley as a hypocrite over her daughter’s use of TikTok, pointing out that the candidate portrayed TikTok as a serious foreign policy concern.
“She made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time,” he said in the debate.
Haley immediately shot back.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. “Just scum.”
DeSantis came to Haley’s defense, denouncing Ramaswamy’s comments.
“I think the kids are out of bounds. I didn’t think that was an appropriate thing to do,” DeSantis said in a Fox News interview on Thursday.
“I keep the kids out of it for sure,” he said of his own conduct.
DeSantis himself has three young children.
Both Ramaswamy and Haley are threats to DeSantis’ position as the second most popular GOP candidate in current polling.
The Florida governor has about 14 percent support in the primary field, according to national polling averages, while Haley and Ramaswamy hold about 9 and 5 percent, respectively.
After the debate on Wednesday, Ramaswamy doubled down on the comments.
“The error is somebody sanctimoniously lecturing the rest of the country about the perils of [TikTok] while actually failing to set an example of leadership a little closer to home,” he said. “We have to show up and engage with the next generation. That’s the point I was making, and I stand by it.”
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Author: Nick Robertson