Ramaswamy Gets Into It With CNN Over 9/11, Taiwan

Candidate accused of 'mansplaining' after Kaitlan Collins points out apparent contradictions
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2023 8:49 AM CDT
Ramaswamy's Contradictions Could Make Him a Target
Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at an event in St. Clair Shores, Mich., Monday, Aug. 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Vivek Ramaswamy may have been practicing for Wednesday's Republican presidential primary debate when he sparred with CNN's Kaitlan Collins on Tuesday. Onlookers had a lot to say about the interview in which Ramaswamy accused Collins of trickery and putting words into his mouth. Collins had pressed the 38-year-old tech entrepreneur on a quote he gave to the Atlantic, in which he questioned whether federal agents were on the planes used in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then stated the number was "probably" zero. "It looks like you're floating conspiracy theories with this defense of 'I'm just asking questions,'" Collins said, per the Hill. Ramaswamy claimed he'd been misquoted and was actually speaking about the "many federal agents in the field" on Jan. 6, 2021.

Onlookers would later accuse Ramaswamy of "mansplaining" and "demeaning" Collins in a separate discussion of his plan to "put a gun in every Taiwanese household" as a means of deterring Chinese aggression. Collins aired a clip of his statement on the subject, which Ramaswamy himself had shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, before asking if he thought "that would be a sufficient plan to deter a Chinese invasion," per HuffPost. "Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan, Kaitlan," Ramaswamy responded before claiming she was ignoring "a whole range of deterrents" he had touted. "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," he said. "I never said it was sufficient," he went on before accusing Collins of a "trick," per Mediaite.

Yet the Washington Post notes "the political newcomer's sometimes contradictory image and statements ... are expected to be a target of criticism Wednesday night from GOP rivals." The Post highlights one dichotomy involving Ramaswamy's claim that he isn't doing traditional debate prep but simply working out instead. Only after the Post uncovered a photo showing a suited Ramaswamy standing at a lectern in a mock debate did the candidate admit he "reluctantly tried" traditional preparations but found "it wasn't a good fit." Candidates "have also signaled plans to attack some of his provocative policy positions" Wednesday, per the Post. This week, Nikki Haley criticized his stated plan to "get Israel on its own two feet" so that US aid is no longer needed. (More Vivek Ramaswamy stories.)

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