GOP presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) criticized fellow contender Vivek Ramaswamy in an interview published Thursday, calling the biotech entrepreneur “wrong” on his positions regarding Taiwan and Israel.
During an interview with conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt, Scott was asked about Ramaswamy’s position on Taiwan. The 38-year-old GOP candidate has said he would protect Taiwan until the U.S. has semiconductor independence from the county.
“Well, we should always be loyal to our allies, lethal to our adversaries. We should be unequivocal in our commitment to our allies. Taiwan is an ally of ours. We should make sure that they have the resources, the weaponry, and frankly, not on backorder, already delivered,” Scott told Hewitt.
“As president of the United States, I will deliver the weapons necessary to keep Taiwan safe, including missile defense systems as well as other weapons that they’re not getting out of the Biden administration,” he continued.
“Vivek, he’s just wrong on this topic. He’s wrong on making sure that we protect Israel until 2028. You cannot put an expiration date on our allies. It’s just dead wrong, and it could lead to the loss of life, and certainly lead to the loss of confidence in the greatest nation on God’s green Earth,” he added.
The U.S. has sought to maintain a “strategic ambiguity” toward Taiwan, under which the government doesn’t necessarily clarify what the U.S. response would be if China or another country targets Taiwan.
But President Biden has often elaborated further and argued that the U.S. would be willing to militarily defend Taiwan if it were attacked, forcing the White House to clarify that Biden’s remarks do not mark a change in the country’s position.
Ramaswamy said during an interview with Hewitt last month that under his presidency, the U.S. would defend Taiwan until 2028, when the U.S. has achieved semiconductor independence.
“And after that, our commitments to Taiwan, our commitments to be willing to go to military conflict, will change after that, because that’s rationally in our self-interest,” Ramaswamy said.
During an interview with NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC later in the month, however, he clarified that after 2028, “we will resume our position of strategic ambiguity.”
Scott’s comments also reference Ramaswamy’s views on Israel, which have also been the subject of attacks by other opponents. The GOP entrepreneur has said that he would negotiate an Abraham Accords 2.0 that he contended would incorporate Israel into the rest of the Middle East such that it wouldn’t be necessary to continue providing aid to the country after 2028.
Scott’s comments may mark a shift in approach to his opponents, as he has branded himself as a positive, optimistic GOP candidate. The senator has largely avoided attacking other contenders but has been trailing in the polls as of late.
The Hill has reached out to Ramaswamy’s campaign for comment.