Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy clashed with CNN anchor Caitlan Collins on her show Monday night after she aired a short clip of him speaking about Taiwan.
“Guess what, we’ll put a gun in every Taiwanese household, and train them how to use it, and this is how Xi Jinping thinks twice,” Ramaswamy said in a clip taken from a speech in Iowa.
“Do you really think that would be a sufficient plan to deter a Chinese invasion, if it involved long-range missiles, ground forces, air blockade, sea blockade, and all the various measures here?” Collins asked Ramaswamy.
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“Caitlan, Caitlan, Caitlan, Caitlan, Caitlan! Of course it’s not enough,” Ramaswamy said, repeating the anchor’s name 5 separate times. “Take that little clip,” he said, and Collins interrupted him, “when I cut it out.”
“I posted that clip,” Collins said.
Ramaswamy objected that the clip Collins showed her audience was a small part of his full set of recommended policies that would help deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
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“Yes, part of this is turning Taiwan into a porcupine,” Ramaswamy said. I think exporting our Second Amendment is a relatively free or low-cost way to do that. But I find it funny that you take that clip and then put the words in my mouth as if that were deterrent enough. Caitlan, with due respect, that’s a joke, especially When I offered it to you,” he began again.
Collins responded, “She just doesn’t put the words in your mouth.”
Ramaswamy replied with a laugh, “I never said it was enough. I never said it was enough.”
He also told Collins that the experience of being on her show was entertaining and an example of how “the media” should work.
“That’s really funny, Caitlan,” said the Republican presidential nominee. “Learning how the media works has been very educational to me. Yes, that’s important. No one ever said that was enough to deter an invasion.”
“Kaitlan, you might be able to do this trick better with other candidates who don’t really know how to respond to the game,” Ramaswamy added.
“It’s not a hoax,” Collins said. “I just ask you about your plan with Taiwan and follow what you suggested.”
“But I will not allow anyone to put words in my mouth, to say that I said ‘enough’. ‘It is not so,’ he said. ‘I don’t put words in your mouth,'” Collins objected again.
Ramaswamy has previously faced criticism over his political stance towards Taiwan. He has repeatedly vowed to defend Taiwan against China until the United States achieves “semiconductor independence” in 2028, if elected president. In August, he recommended taking American destroyers from Japan, “one a month,” and moving them across the Taiwan Strait to defend American strategic interests in East Asia.
The candidate also said he would likely seek a “total decoupling” of Sino-US trade relations, and would impose a federal ban on this until the Chinese Communist Party adheres to and pursues reforms.
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This report was contributed by Joseph A. Wolfson and Charles Kretz from Fox News.
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