Biotech entrepreneur and GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy experienced a challenging interview on “Fox & Friends,” the fourth Republican debate.
Host Brian Kilmeade focused on Ramaswamy’s stance on the Ukraine conflict, probing his approach to handling Russia’s aggression.
Kilmeade questions Ramaswamy’s Ukraine strategy, diplomatic goals
Kilmeade wasted no time delving into the intricacies of Ramaswamy’s foreign policy, questioning if he was willing to concede parts of Ukraine to Russia and if he believed he could separate Russia and China diplomatically.
Ramaswamy’s response highlighted his strategic outlook: “I think we have to play hardball there and make a hard deal that requires any reneging on that deal to have major consequences.”
His objective has significantly shaped Ramaswamy’s foreign policy to disrupt the growing Sino-Russian alliance, which he perceives as a primary threat to U.S. national security.
Ramaswamy promotes ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Russia
When pressed on potential additional sanctions or measures against Russia, given the existing sanctions, he advocated for a “maximum pressure campaign.”
Kilmeade, however, expressed skepticism about Ramaswamy’s ability to keep Russia and China apart, stating, “It’s going to be done anyway. You cannot keep Russia from China.”
Ramaswamy, countering this viewpoint, pointed out the nuances in the Russia-China relationship, suggesting that it is not as solid as it appears.
Ramaswamy expresses concern over U.S. aid to Ukraine, Russia’s expansion
The conversation then shifted to Russia potentially expanding its control over more of Eastern Europe.
Responding to Kilmeade’s inquiry on this issue, Ramaswamy expressed concerns over the transparency and efficacy of U.S. financial aid to Ukraine, saying, “We have no idea how Ukraine has spent $200 billion of our money. We’re forking over more taxpayer money. That’s corrupt.”
Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the U.S. Congress has authorized around $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, although not all of this funding has been disbursed.
With the war approaching its second year, President Biden is pursuing additional support for Ukraine.
Ramaswamy challenges Ukraine’s democracy
During the interview, Ramaswamy challenged the prevailing view of Ukraine as a democracy. Kilmeade sharply retorted to Ramaswamy’s stance, accusing him of naivety and predicting future criticism for giving up Ukraine.
Ramaswamy defended his position, asserting his understanding of the situation and criticizing the current foreign policy approach.
“Brian, I think that if I called Nikki Haley naive, you guys would be having a conniption; let’s be honest about that,” Ramaswamy replied. “I actually understand what the heck I’m talking about here.”
Ramaswamy criticizes U.S. foreign policy, advocates for prioritizing Americans
Ramaswamy reiterated his criticism of U.S. support for Ukraine, calling for a shift away from traditional neoconservative strategies.
“Well, forget ‘neocon wisdom.’ Nobody buys into that,” Kilmeade responded, adding, “Just give up Eastern Europe.”
Ramaswamy concluded the interview by emphasizing the need for policies prioritizing American interests: “I think it’s a boneheaded foreign policy, and I think the right answer is that we need to protect Americans.”
Steve Doocy’s assessment of Ramaswamy’s debate performance
In a separate segment, co-host Steve Doocy reflected on Ramaswamy’s debate performance, labeling it as “embarrassing.”
Doocy commented, “He just came in too hot once again. He got booed a number of times,” and placed Ramaswamy fourth in his debate rankings simply because he participated.