Former Vice President Mike Pence and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy tangled during the first GOP presidential debate over their credentials, with Pence saying the country doesn’t need “a rookie” leader.
“You got people on this stage that won’t even talk about issues like Social Security and Medicare. I mean Vivek, you recently said a president can’t do everything. Well, I got news for you, Vivek — I’ve been in a hallway, I’ve been in the West Wing. A president in the United States has to confront every crisis facing America,” Pence said on stage, invoking Ramaswamy.
Ramaswamy retorted back, “This isn’t that complicated, guys. Unlock American energy, drill, frack, burn coal, embrace nuclear. Put people back to work by no longer paying them more to stay at home.”
“For me, It’s pretty simple. That’s something a U.S. president can do with focus and I’ll deliver on it,” Ramaswamy added.
“Let me explain it to you, Vivek,” Pence responded. “I’ll go slower this time.”
“Now is not the time for on-the job training,” Pence added later. “We don’t need to bring in a rookie.”
Other candidates Wednesday night including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also targeted Ramaswamy, who has seen his standing rise in polls recently.
“The last person in one of these debates … who stood in the middle of the stage and said, ‘What is a skinny guy with an odd last name doing up here?’ was Barack Obama. And I am afraid we are dealing with the same type of amateur standing on the stage tonight,” Christie said.