Hannity, Ramaswamy Clash Over Remarks on Israel

Fox News host pushes GOP presidential candidate in 'confrontational' interview
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2023 8:57 AM CDT

Vivek Ramaswamy is getting into it with everyone these days. Last week, he got combative with CNN's Kaitlan Collins over his comments on Taiwan and 9/11. Then the GOP presidential candidate received a cease-and-desist letter from Eminem's team demanding he stop using the rapper's songs on the campaign trail. Now, Ramaswamy's latest sparring partner is Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, who took the 38-year-old candidate to task Monday night over Ramaswamy's proposed policies on Israel. Mediaite notes the "tense interview" became "confrontational straight out of the gate," with Hannity telling Ramaswamy, "You said aid to Israel, our No. 1 ally, only democracy in the region, should end in 2028 and that they should be integrated with their neighbors."

Ramaswamy bristled at that comment, calling it "false." "I have an exact quote. You want me to read it?" Hannity retorted. Ramaswamy then went on to explain what he says he really meant. "I can tell you the exact quote," he noted. "What I said is it would be a mark of success if we ever got to a point in our relationship with Israel if Israel never needed the United States' aid. And Sean, you know how politics is played. A lot of the other professional politicians who have been threatened by my rise have used that statement to say that I would cut off aid to Israel. That's not correct. I've been crystal clear."

Ramaswamy also lauded Israel's border and "tough on crime" policies and boasted of his travels to the nation and business relationships there, vowing that "by the end of my first term, our relationship with Israel will be stronger than it ever has been, because I will treat it as a true friendship, not just a transactional relationship." Hannity kept the debate going, calling Ramaswamy out for saying that Israel shouldn't get "preferential treatment" from the US. Ramaswamy hit back on that as well, noting, "Those are direct quotes from headlines summarized by opposition research fed to the fake news media."

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Hannity isn't the only conservative pushing back on Ramaswamy's foreign policy takes. Per the Hill, Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen took to social media on Monday to address a recent article by Ramaswamy on his position on the war in Ukraine. "Criminally stupid," Thiessen wrote on X, formerly Twitter, regarding Ramaswamy's promise, if elected president, to "accept Russian control of the occupied territories and pledge to block Ukraine's candidacy for NATO in exchange for Russia exiting its military alliance with China." "Like a freshman foreign policy paper," Thiessen noted. "Utterly disqualifying." (Read more Vivek Ramaswamy stories.)

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