Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy clashed Wednesday night during the presidential debate in Milwaukee, with Haley criticizing her GOP rival for lacking foreign policy experience and supporting Russia.
After Ramaswamy said he would not support Ukraine in the war against Russia, Haley accused him of supporting America’s foreign adversaries and abandoning its friends.
“He wants to hand Ukraine to Russia, he wants to let China eat Taiwan, he wants to go and stop funding Israel,” Haley said. “You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends.”
Ramaswamy hit back that Haley was “pushing this lie” about him and then suggested Haley was backing Ukraine at the behest of large defense contractors.
“I wish you well in your future career on the boards of Lockheed [Martin] and Raytheon,” Ramaswamy said, referring to major defense contractors.
Both candidates, who were positioned directly next to each other on the debate stage, then talked over each other for several seconds before Haley slammed Ramaswamy, an entreprenuer, for his inexperience as a politician.
“You have no foreign policy experience and it shows,” she said, earning applause from the crowd.
Ramaswamy was the only presidential candidate on the stage to raise his hand when the Fox News moderators hosting the debate asked who would not keep supporting Ukraine.
He said continuing to support the nation would drive Russia closer to China and also argued the U.S. should focus on securing its own border.
Haley argued that Ramaswamy was choosing Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.
“You are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country,” she said.
Ramaswamy was a target of criticism from several other candidates during the debate, a possible reflection of his bump in some recent polls.