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Bickering Indian Americans: ’Namrata’ Haley Slams Vivek Ramaswamy for ‘Childish Name-Calling’


  • The former governor of South Carolina criticized the former entrepreneur for calling her “lying Namrata,” in a bid to get back at her for her jabs against his foreign policy positions in the recent GOP primary debate.

It looks as if the tense exchanges between Republican presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley are becoming personal. After sparring on the debate stage on their foreign policy positions, including Israel and Ukraine, the two Indian Americans have taken their battles off-stage. Yesterday, Haley attacked Ramaswamy saying that she doesn’t want to “get into the childish name-calling” like her rival.

Haley was referring to Ramaswamy’s comment on his website calling her “lying Namrata (sic),” referencing her (misspelt) given Indian name. Her given full name is Nimarata Nikki Randhawa. While it is not clear if Ramaswamy’s intent was to remind the Republican base that she is not “white” as she often passes for, there is no denying he is up to some mischief. If any non-Indian origin candidate picked on her Indian name in that manner, it would have been seen as a racist attack.

“I’m not going to get into the childish name-calling or whatever, making fun of my name that he’s doing,” she told Fox News Digital. “I mean, he of all people should know better than that. But I’ve given up on him knowing better than anything at this point.”I think we saw the childish, demeaning side of him onstage. I think he’s carrying that out whether it’s on the website or otherwise, but I have no use for it.”

According to Fox News, the remark was Ramaswamy’s attempt to “set the record straight on Haley’s jabs at his foreign policy positions on the recent first GOP primary debate.” Haley went after Ramaswamy during the debate, saying his views make clear that he has no foreign policy experience, “and it shows.” Politico called it “one of the most watched moments” of the Aug. 23 debate. “He wants to hand Ukraine to Russia, he wants to let China eat Taiwan, he wants to go and stop funding Israel,” she said, “You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends.”

Ramaswamy responded by noting that the U.S.relationship with Israel “would never be stronger than by the end of my first term, but it’s not a client relationship, it’s a friendship, and you know what friends do? Friends help each other stand on their own two feet.”

Haley also blasted Ramaswamy at yesterday’s town hall in Indian Land, South Carolina, “for not valuing the United States’ relationships with key allies and not taking security threats from Russia and China seriously,” Politico reported. “When you have somebody on stage say, ‘I’m going to let Russia have this part of Ukraine, and I’m gonna tell them you can’t do anything with China going forward,’ it’s completely naive,” the publication quoted her as saying. “And the other thing that bothers me — it is completely narcissistic to think that America doesn’t need friends.”“We do need friends. We do need allies.”

Meanwhile, Ramaswamy’s campaign dismissed Haley’s criticism. “Vivek is running for president of the United States, not a board seat on Lockheed Martin,” Tricia McLaughlin, a senior adviser to the Ramaswamy campaign, told Politico.

Ramaswamy also wrote an op-ed for The American Conservative, where he  outlined his foreign policy vision. Noting that he “would try to improve relations with Russia in order to ‘sever,’ the Russia-China relationship,” he pledged that he will “end aid to Ukraine if elected president.” He promised “to incentivize American companies to move supply chains away from China and rebase them in allied markets, especially in our own hemisphere.” He said his “at its core,” his campaign is about “reestablishing American national identity.” When his two terms have elapsed, “Americans will have taken back their country from unelected elites. We will rightly experience national pride again.