Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley thinks she’s figured out why her rival Vivek Ramaswamy continues to attack her at the GOP debates — he’s got a “girl problem.”
Ms. Haley, discussing the most recent debate in Miami on the Ruthless podcast, noted that Mr. Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur, started his time on stage by calling for Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel to resign, before moving on to “hit” NBC News anchor Kristen Welker, who moderated, and then Ms. Haley.
“I actually was like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to engage him,’ because we are not going to let this debate be about him,” she said. “But what happens? He comes out of the gate, he hits the female chair of the party, he hits the female anchor on the platform, and then he hits me.”
“And I’m not going to say anything, but he might have a girl problem,” she said. “I’m just saying, he might have a girl problem.”
Mr. Ramaswamy responded by saying that being a woman doesn’t stop Ms. Haley from being criticized.
“Sorry, Nikki, having two X chromosomes doesn’t immunize you, Ronna McDaniel, or Kristen Welker from criticism,” he wrote on X Wednesday. “I don’t think Kamala Harris is going to run so there might be an opening for you in the party of identity politics.”
Tricia McLaughlin, Mr. Ramaswamy‘s press secretary, told the former South Carolina governor to “grow up.”
“Nothing says ‘girl power’ like ‘you can’t criticize me because I’m a woman,’” Ms. McLaughlin posted on X Wednesday.
Mr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Haley have often sparred during the debates, mostly over foreign policy and the social media platform TikTok. Their back-and-forth got especially heated during the debate earlier this month when Ms. Haley called Mr. Ramaswamy “scum” for mentioning her daughter’s TikTok account, after she criticized him for having one.
His criticism of Mrs. McDaniel stems from the Republican Party‘s losses while she’s been chair. He specifically mentioned losing seats in Congress and the White House in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
“If you want to come on stage tonight and you want to look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign I will turn over, yield my time to you,” he said at the debate.
The RNC chair shrugged it off by saying Mr. Ramaswamy needs media attention to help grow his popularity.
“Listen, he’s at 4%, he needs a headline,” Mrs. McDaniel told Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney.
A new poll out of New Hampshire shows Mr. Ramaswamy in fifth place with 5% of voters, while Ms. Haley is in second with 18%. Mr Trump leads with 49%, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sits in third with 9%, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis behind him at 7%.