Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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    Nikki Haley Criticizes Rival Vivek Ramaswamy Over TikTok Use Amidst Security Concerns

    Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has intensified her criticism of fellow GOP contender Vivek Ramaswamy for his advocacy of TikTok, despite known security concerns associated with the Chinese-owned platform. This clash between the two candidates highlights differing perspectives on the use of popular social media apps, particularly in the context of national security.

    Haley expressed her concerns during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” where she questioned Ramaswamy’s decision to engage with TikTok, given the well-documented risks posed by the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok boasts an estimated 150 million American users, but Haley criticized Ramaswamy for aligning with the platform merely for political popularity.

    The tension between the two candidates emerged in a conversation between Haley and Fox News host Shannon Bream, during which Haley was asked about her previous endorsement of Ramaswamy’s book, “Woke Inc.” In her endorsement, Haley praised Ramaswamy’s qualities of honesty, intelligence, and foresight, which she believed were vital for overcoming challenges in the years ahead. However, she now finds herself at odds with Ramaswamy’s stance on TikTok.

    Haley defended her position, stating, “I think I always praise people when they deserve to be praised. And I hit people when they deserve to be hit.” She explained that she had supported Ramaswamy’s book because it resonated with her at the time. However, she emphasized the significant divergence between his earlier views and his current stance on TikTok.

    Ramaswamy, without explicitly naming Haley or other 2024 GOP candidates, had previously suggested that Republicans should understand the platform’s appeal to young voters. He specifically mentioned “adult children” using TikTok as an important demographic for Republicans to connect with.

    Responding to this, Haley pointed out her own family’s experience, noting that her son is not on TikTok, and her daughter had used it until around 2020. She highlighted the importance of education regarding the platform’s potential risks, indirectly critiquing Ramaswamy’s approach.

    Haley underscored the security concerns associated with TikTok, attributing them to the Chinese Communist Party’s activities. She stressed that the app’s issues go beyond mere content and involve potential spying, access to personal data, and the dissemination of harmful information.

    During a previous GOP presidential debate, Ramaswamy had defended his decision to join TikTok, arguing that reaching the next generation of young Americans was crucial for the Republican Party. Haley had strongly disagreed, describing TikTok as one of the most dangerous social media apps due to its alleged ties to the Chinese government.

    This ongoing exchange between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy highlights the complex interplay between politics, national security, and popular social media platforms, setting the stage for further discussions within the GOP presidential race.

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