“This is the fourth debate, the fourth debate in which you would be voted in the first 20 minutes as the most obnoxious braggart in America,” Christie shouted after Ramaswamy once again interrupted his rivals with insults.
Most of Ramaswamy’s insults were hurled at the former UN ambassador. nikki haleywho captured momentum in recent weeks and threatened to overtake DeSantis as the leading Republican alternative candidate to Trump. Ramaswamy disparaged his time in the Trump administration as “a cup of coffee at the UN” and mocked his inability to name three provinces in eastern Ukraine to which he said he wanted to send American troops.
“Foreign policy experience is not the same as foreign policy wisdom,” Ramaswamy said. “It takes an outsider to pull this off. Look at the blank expression. “He doesn’t know the names of the provinces.”
Shortly after, Christie came to Haley’s defense.
“Look, if you want to disagree on some issues, that’s fine,” Christie said. “And Nikki and I don’t agree on some issues, but I’ll tell you this: I’ve known her for 12 years, which is more than [Ramaswamy] He even started voting in the Republican primaries. And while we disagree on some issues… we don’t disagree on this. She is an intelligent and accomplished woman.”
Christie, a former Trump ally who became one of the former president’s staunchest critics, has made no secret of his purpose in the race: to challenge Trump directly, hoping to prevent him from ever holding office again. As he had in previous debates, Christie also took aim at Trump’s absence on Wednesday, referring to him as “the fifth guy who doesn’t have the guts to show up and stand here.” She also suggested that the other three candidates on stage didn’t want to disagree with Trump because they knew it was politically inconvenient.
“Maybe it’s because they have aspirations for the future. Maybe those future aspirations are now or maybe they are four years from now,” Christie said. “But the fact of the matter is that the truth needs to be told. … [Trump] it’s not able. This is a guy who just said last week that he wants to use the Justice Department to go after his enemies when he gets in there. And the fact is that he is not fit to be president.”
It was also not the first time Ramaswamy, a political newcomer who launched a long-shot bid for the Republican Party nomination, has been attacked on a debate stage. In the third Republican presidential primary debate last month, Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” after she mentioned that her daughter was still using TikTok, the social media app that Haley says should be banned for its safety risks.
“Maybe you want to take care of your family first,” Ramaswamy then told Haley.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley responded.
On Wednesday, Christie also appeared to have many harsh words for Ramaswamy. She questioned the seriousness of Ramaswamy’s proposed “peace deal” in Ukraine, saying he would simply make Ukraine give up land that Russia has already stolen. Christie quickly rejected Ramaswamy’s suggestion that Taiwan’s citizens be armed with guns to protect themselves from an invasion from China: “You know, I don’t think we have the constitutional authority in Taiwan to give them a Second Amendment,” he said dryly.
“All he knows how to do is insult good people who have committed their lives to public service and say nothing that will move the ball forward for America,” Christie said.
In an interview with CNN after the debate, Christie acknowledged that he had simply had enough of Ramaswamy.
“I’ve had enough tonight of listening to your garbage,” he told the network.