Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ramaswamy Plows the Road for Trump in Latest Debate

I don’t know how Donald Trump consistently pulls it off.

How can he ignore every Republican debate and still win them all?

If you were able to find the latest GOP debate, which was on some obscure network no one heard of, you saw the four remaining candidates (besides Trump) slugging it out over Ukraine, Israel, gender mutilation, the southern border, and why they are still in the race when they have no chance to win.

Listening to the candidates’ positions on the issues was a shrug and a “meh”, but their personal interactions and obvious growing animosity was far more amusing.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Out of all the candidates, Ramaswamy is consistently the most entertaining, however that isn’t entirely why he fascinates me. If Donald Trump could create a pseudo clone to represent him on stage, projecting the best of his personality without the negatives, it would be Ramaswamy. Whether purposely or by coincidence, Ramaswamy is doing the dirty work on Trump’s behalf that blunts the attacks of the other candidates and ensures Trump’s lead isn’t threatened.

The donor class, RINOs and Never Trumpers have coronated Nikki Haley as the new George Bush clone. It seems personal for Ramaswamy, and he unloaded on Haley for cozying up to big money donors, monetizing her government contacts for her own gain, and supporting a variety of bills that benefitted country club Republicans, the defense industry and Deep State Democrats.

Perhaps the most devastating attack came when Ramaswamy challenged Haley to name the provinces in Ukraine she is willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to defend.

She couldn’t do it.

By the time Ramaswamy accused her of having a corruption problem and held up a sign on a notepad that said “Nikki Haley is corrupt,” Neocon Nikki crumbled. At one point, I honestly wondered if she was going to cry.

Nikki Haley

Total disaster.

Ramaswamy relentlessly pounded Haley for her ties to Boeing, essentially portraying her as the poster child for crony capitalism. Perhaps even more damaging than Ramaswamy’s blitzkrieg was Haleys’ visceral reaction, which made her appear extremely distressed, bordering on emotional.

In general, Haley’s answers were the same quintessential donor class Republican pablum we’ve heard for decades. I imagine you could cut-and-paste clips from every Republican primary debate from Bush v. Buchannon to Jeb! v. Trump and they would mirror pretty much everything Haley had to say. She wilted under the excoriating attacks from Ramaswamy, and to a lesser extent, from DeSantis on her support for child mutilation.

At one point, Ramaswamy railed against Haley for accumulating great wealth while “serving” on the board of Boeing, and he said, “This is a woman who will send your kids to die so she can buy a bigger house.”


Haley was also backed into a corner on illegal immigration. While she emphasized her desire to deport all the illegal aliens who entered the country under Biden, she subtly affirmed her support for “immigration reform,” which is code for amnesty.

In essence, the 2024 George Bush clone candidate crashed and burned.

Ron DeSantis 

Ron DeSantis was the best version of himself, but it still feels like he’s a muscle-bound boxer who can’t find a suitable opponent. To some extent, Haley allows him to contrast his views and record with someone he actually disagrees with. Still, while recognizing the consequences for future elections if he says something that pisses off Trump’s base, the bad blood between Trump and DeSantis leaves the latter unable to embrace the former president as Ramaswamy does. This always leads to the weird and awkward tightrope DeSantis walks when the subject of Trump comes up. In what I see as a major blunder, DeSantis chose to resort to the ageism argument against Trump, even though seniors make up a large chunk of Trump’s base.  

Fortunately, DeSantis saved his biggest haymakers for Haley on transgenderism, China and illegal immigration. In the process, he sounded more human and a lot less robotic. It’s pretty clear DeSantis is going nowhere in this election cycle, and the real question is what kind of permanent damage has he done to his prospects in 2028?

Chris Christie

Chris Christie is a bitter man. He never recovered from Mitt Romney’s 2012 snub when Romney chose Paul Ryan as his running mate. Everything that followed Christie’s self-centered keynote address at the convention that year trended downward. Honestly, Christie shouldn’t have been on the debate stage at all in this cycle. He offers no new ideas or a vision for the future. His entire campaign is predicated on attacking Trump, and he comes off as extremely petty and nasty.

Christie called Ramaswamy a “blowhard,” which frankly, is kind of ironic, but to be fair, Christie did step up to defend Nikki Haley when she was under attack. I suppose he gets a couple points for chivalry, but Haley seemed to shrink further into the background after that, and Christie continued to look like he was totally out of place on the debate stage with the other three.

Final Take

If the RNC doesn’t cancel the next two debates scheduled for January, Ronna McDaniel should be fired on the spot. These ridiculous exercises accomplish nothing except wasting financial resources and providing opportunities for disgruntled Never Trump Republicans to damage the candidacy of the party’s obvious nominee.

This valuable time should be used to develop strategies to thwart the new election rigging schemes the Democrats will unleash in the battleground states. If there needs to be further debates, let Trump submit a list of his finalists for running mate and let them go at it.

That might actually be fun to watch.