Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is facing sharp criticism for his dismissive attitude toward CNN host Kaitlan Collins during an interview Monday night.
Ramaswamy took issue with Collins' questioning of his earlier remarks calling for arming individual Taiwanese households against the possibility of a Chinese invasion.
Collins asked whether Ramaswamy really thought that would be "sufficient" to dissuade China from a potential attack against Taiwan:
"Do you really think that would be a sufficient plan to deter a Chinese invasion if it includes long-range missiles, ground troops, an aerial blockade, a naval blockade?"
Ramaswamy responded by repeating her first name five times for full patronizing effect.
"Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan! Of course it’s not sufficient."
He continued, insisting that she was putting words in his mouth:
"You take that tiny little clip when I articulated at the Nixon Library last week a one-hour speech with a whole range of deterrents. That is part of it, but I’ve also said that I would pull Russia out of its military alliance with China. I’ve also said that we would bolster our partnership with India."
"Yes, part of this is turning Taiwan into a porcupine. I think exporting our Second Amendment is a relatively free or low-cost way to do that. But I find it laughable that you will take that clip and then put words into my mouth as though that was a sufficient deterrent. Kaitlan, with due respect, that’s a joke, especially when I’ve offered as expansive of a deterrent strategy as I have."
Collins responded to his accusation:
"It’s not putting words into your mouth and it’s not saying that you didn’t say those other things."
He continued to insist that she was trying to trick him in some way.
"I never said it was sufficient. I never said it was sufficient. ... This is really funny, Kaitlan. It’s been very educational for me to learn how media works."
"Kaitlan, you might be able to do this trick better with other candidates who don’t really know how to respond to the game."
You can view the clip of their exchange below:
There were definitely more than a few people that had a problem with his dismissiveness.
While it's true Ramaswamy has laid out multiple proposals for deterring a Chinese attack against Taiwan, his inability to handle a basic question about it makes him appear not quite ready for prime time.