This Article is From Nov 09, 2023

"I Wear Five-Inch Heels": Nikki Haley Snaps Back At Vivek Ramaswamy

Ms Haley - who also exchanged 'heel' swipes with Mr DeSantis last week - snapped back at Mr Ramaswamy, "(I wear) five-inch heels... and I don't wear them unless you can run in them."

'I Wear Five-Inch Heels': Nikki Haley Snaps Back At Vivek Ramaswamy

Nikki Haley is the former Governor of the US state of South Carolina (File).

New Delhi:

A televised debate Wednesday between American Republican presidential hopefuls spiraled into the 'Battle of the Heels, Part 2' after businessman and political novice Vivek Ramaswamy lobbed a personal insult at ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the only female candidate on stage.

The two (plus Florida Governor RonDeSantis and two others) were involved in a heated exchange on US foreign policy - that news agency AFP slyly called a "first in Republican debates" - when the Indian-origin Vivek Ramaswamy branded Nikki Haley a "Dick Cheney in three-inch heels".

Ms Haley - who also exchanged 'heel' swipes with Mr DeSantis last week, amid talk he wears lifts to seem taller - snapped, "(I wear) five-inch heels... and I don't wear them unless you can run in them."

An apparently unapologetic Mr Ramaswamy also posted a video of his comment on X.

The incendiary back-and-forth came in the first 20 minutes of the debate and as Mr Ramaswamy held forth on Israel's war on the Palestinian people and the Hamas' terror attack last month; on this subject all Republican challengers appear united and Ms Haley said she would "finish" Hamas.

"... Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself. I would tell him (Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) to smoke those terrorists on his southern border..." Mr Ramaswamy thundered, "(if elected President) I will smoke the terrorists on our southern border."

READ | "Smoke Those Terrorists": Vivek Ramaswamy's Message To Israel Amid War

"(Do the voters want a) leader from a different generation - who is going to put this country first or do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels. We've got two of them on stage tonight," he said.

"They're not a fashion statement, they're for ammunition," Ms Haley hit back.

The reference to former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney was part of criticism of his rivals' foreign policy stance; this includes Ms Haley backing funding for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

The attack on Nikki Haley was also a reference to her leaving public office to accept a position on the board of American aerospace giants Boeing; she stepped down in March 2020, less than a year later, in opposition to federal support for the company during the global coronavirus crisis.

Mr Ramaswamy's crass jab was followed by an even tenser (and still more personal) exchange with Ms Haley, in which he called her a hypocrite in their scrap over TikTok - a Chinese video-sharing platform.

READ | "Leave My Family Out": Nikki Haley Attacks Vivek Ramaswamy On Debate Stage

While other Republican Presidential hopefuls - Ms Haley, Mr DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - have also backed Israel's war against Hamas, Mr Ramaswamy has dismissed them as 'neocons' as he positions himself as an 'America First' candidate.

'Neocon' refers to Neoconservatism - a foreign policy supporting democracy as well as intervention in international affairs. Neocons are seen as taking the 'peace through military strength' route.

NDTV is now available on WhatsApp channels. Click on the link to get all the latest updates from NDTV on your chat.

With input from agencies