Vivek Ramaswamy denigrated his fellow GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley as “Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels” during Wednesday’s Republican debate while going after her record on foreign policy.
The entrepreneur fired off the attack after NBC News debate moderators asked about his stance on the Israel-Hamas war.
Vivek Ramaswamy goes after Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis: “Do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels? In which case we’ve got two of them.”
“Do you want a leader from a different generation, who’s going to put this country first, or do you want Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels?” Ramaswamy asked in reference to Haley’s time as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He then added, “In which case we’ve got two of them” — an apparent swipe at DeSantis, whom recent media reports found is likely wearing lifts to elevate his stature.
Cheney was former President George W. Bush’s vice president and one of the driving forces behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Whatever Ramaswamy’s intentions, his footwear-focused dig largely served to emphasize that Haley is a woman ― and the only woman onstage at Wednesday’s debate or the two previous Republican debates earlier this year.
When the moderators later turned to Haley with a question, she used the opportunity to first respond to Ramaswamy’s comment.
“I’d first like to say, they’re 5-inch heels, and I don’t wear them unless you can run in them,” she said. “The second thing I would say is, I wear heels, and they’re not for a fashion statement ― they’re for ammunition.”
Nikki Haley to Vivek:
“Yes. I’d first like to say they’re 5-inch heels and I don’t wear them unless you can run in them. The second thing I would say is I wear heels and they’re not for a fashion statement. They’re for ammunition.”
Haley is polling at around 9%, nearly double Ramaswamy’s 5%.
The 38-year-old entrepreneur, who often emphasizes his youth relative to his Republican rivals, has tended toward the inflammatory during the GOP debates. During August’s showdown, he declared that “the climate change agenda is a hoax.”
Haley has had little patience for Ramaswamy’s campaign style. After he explained at the second debate in September how he was persuaded to join TikTok, she retorted: “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”