‘Sounds like ChatGPT’: Vivek Ramaswamy takes center stage at Republican debate – Times of India



In their inaugural debate for the 2024 election, eight Republican presidential candidates engaged in verbal sparring on Wednesday. The focal point of this exchange was the conspicuous absence of the front-runner, Donald Trump. Justifying his absence, in a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the former US president said he didn’t feel like being “harassed by people that shouldn’t even be running for president?”.
The tumultuous two-hour discourse provided insight into the significant challenges these contenders confront as they endeavor to dislodge Trump from his commanding position at the forefront of the race.
Despite the former president’s unconventional decision to forgo the debate entirely, his adversaries found themselves compelled to take shots at each other. Their aim was to establish themselves as the most promising alternative, a task tackled five months before the inaugural Republican presidential nominating contest in Iowa and over 14 months before the general election.
Positioned at the heart of the stage and amid the most intense clashes of the debate was Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur and political newcomer, who until just a few months ago, was an unlikely presence.
Though significantly trailing Trump, Ramaswamy’s recent ascent in polls earned him a prominent spot beside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the debate’s center stage. In a poised and camera-ready demeanor, he recounted his background, highlighting how his immigrant parents struggled in the US and his own achievements in establishing billion-dollar companies.
Ramaswamy found himself under attack from his more seasoned counterparts. They seemed to perceive him as a more significant threat than DeSantis.
However, Ramaswamy was determined to set himself apart from conventional politicians, evident in his confrontational approach. He boldly proclaimed, “I’m the only person on the stage who isn’t bought and paid for,” characterizing his competitors as “super PAC puppets” who relied on scripted attacks.
He seemed to be banking on the idea that primary voters valued impactful statements over demonstrated accomplishments, a gamble that his fellow candidates were not inclined to support. Former Vice President Mike Pence dismissed the notion, asserting, “Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We don’t need to bring in a rookie.”
During one of Ramaswamy’s fiercest verbal jabs, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie interjected, likening Ramaswamy’s rhetoric to that of “ChatGPT.” Christie further drew a parallel between Ramaswamy’s initial remarks and former President Barack Obama’s style, though this was not intended as a compliment within the Republican context.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley directly challenged Ramaswamy’s assertion that the US should abstain from supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. She criticized his lack of foreign policy experience and its potential impact on American security.
(With inputs from agencies)





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