Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called his Republican presidential rival, Vivek Ramaswamy, the “most obnoxious blowhard in America” during a heated exchange at the GOP primary debate Wednesday night.
“This is the fourth debate that you would be voted in the first 20 minutes as the most obnoxious blowhard in America,” Christie told Ramaswamy after the biotech entrepreneur attacked their fellow competitor, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.
Ramaswamy had lobbed insults at Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, whose campaign has picked up speed in recent weeks and threatened to outstrip that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as second in the race after former President Donald Trump.
Ramaswamy trivialized Haley’s foreign policy experience and said she wouldn’t even be able to name three provinces in Ukraine where he claimed she wanted to send U.S. troops.
“We’re now 25 minutes into this debate, and he has insulted Nikki Haley’s basic intelligence ― not her positions ― her basic intelligence,” Christie said of Ramaswamy.
“Look, if you want to disagree on issues, that’s fine,” he continued. “And Nikki and I disagree on some issues, but I’ll tell you this: I’ve known her for 12 years, which is longer than he’s even started to vote in the Republican primary.”
He added, “This is a smart, accomplished woman you should stop insulting.”
Ramaswamy was undeterred and continued to attack both Christie and Haley.
He claimed Christie also wouldn’t know the names of the Ukrainian provinces and told him to “do everybody a favor, just walk yourself off that stage, enjoy a nice meal, and get the hell out of this race.”
As for Haley, he added: “You can put lipstick on a Dick Cheney, and it’s still a fascist neocon!”
He continued to go after her throughout the evening.
During the last GOP primary debate, Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” after he brought up her daughter during a discussion about the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.
Christie said in post-debate commentary that the exchange was not indicative of an alliance with Haley, and he expects to go head-to-head with her in the coming weeks ahead of the New Hampshire primary.