OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former South Carolina Gov. and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had a few big moments at the 2024 Republican primary debate on Wednesday night.
While speaking to NBC News following the debate, Haley reflected on her performance and discussed the state of the race. Haley boasted about her campaign surging into second place in some GOP primary polls, saying that she has no plans to drop out of the race despite former President Donald Trump’s commanding lead.
Haley also took the time to hit back at Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy after he brought up her daughter at the debate.
“I have to start with the moment we saw with Vivek Ramaswamy. Can you take a minute to reflect on that moment and what was going through your head? Do you dislike him?” an NBC News reporter asked.
“Look, I’m a mom. The second you start saying something about my 25-year-old daughter, I will get my backup. It is not even about the personal part. There are serious differences I have with him. He does not think we have to help Israel; he sides with Putin, and he thinks that Ukraine doesn’t matter,” Haley began.
“He is okay with giving Taiwan to China. There are so many issues. He does not think America needs friends. I think he has a dangerous foreign policy that we can’t afford. I think he would make America less safe,” she added.
“I do not even give him the time of day. He is not worthy. He is not ready to be president; everybody knows that and sees that. So many things he said were uncalled for,” she concluded.
Arguably the tensest moment of the debate came when the discussion over whether to outlaw the social media app TikTok—which the FBI and other national security authorities have warned could transmit personal information to China’s autocratic government—sparked the heated exchange.
“Her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care your family first,” Ramaswamy told Haley at the debate in Miami, the third GOP debate of the election cycle. The audience booed in response.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice. … You’re just scum,” Haley shot back with apparent content, rolling her eyes and shaking her head.
Haley to Ramaswamy: You’re just scum pic.twitter.com/meLxcAVg4a
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 9, 2023
Haley is rising in the polls and has even pulled even with fellow primary contender Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a new Iowa poll.
However, every single poll shows that Trump has a commanding lead over the entire primary field.
But Haley thinks she could emerge as the only Republican challenger in the primary to take on Trump despite zero polling showing that anyone can beat Trump.
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, hedge fund titan Paul Singer, and Thomas Peterffy, the founder of stock brokerage firm Interactive Brokers, have yet to decide which Republican candidate they want to support.
Haley was reportedly referred to as “a rockstar” by Griffin, who recently declared that he was watching the 2024 presidential race from the sidelines during a private meeting with other business executives.
“Anyone I will support will have to undertake, whatever their personal belief, to protect individual rights to self-determination, and that should include abortion,” Peterffy said in an email to CNBC when asked who he’s watching at the debate in Miami.
When asked if he’d consider supporting Haley in the primary, Peterffy said to CNBC, “I will take some time to decide.”