Vivek Ramaswamy took a swipe Wednesday night at Ron DeSantis and his alleged use of shoe inserts, calling him and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley “Dick Cheney in three-inch heels.”
The conversation began live during the third televised Republican presidential debate, one year out from the 2024 election. Former President Donald Trump, far and away the current leader and presumed candidate for the Republican Party, was once again not in attendance.
Drawing a through line of alleged financial misconduct controversies between today’s Democratic leadership and the Republican candidates he saw onstage with him, Ramaswamy indicated that voters should want “a leader from a different generation who’s ready to put this country first.”
“Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, got a $5 million bribe from Ukraine, that’s why we’re sending $200 billion back to that same country,” Ramaswamy began, nodding to the disproven corruption within the Biden administration as a result of the president’s embattled son’s business affairs overseas.
Vivek Ramaswamy goes after Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis: "Do you want Dick Cheney in three inch heels? In which case we've got two of them." pic.twitter.com/rLNCy2OZB9— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 9, 2023
“The fact of the matter is, the Republican Party is not that much better,” he said. “You have the likes of Nikki Haley who stepped down from her time at the U.N., bankrupt or in debt was her family. Then she becomes a military contractor, she joins the board of Boeing and otherwise is now a multi-millionaire. So I think that’s wrong whether Republicans do it or Democrats do it.”
The tech entrepreneur-turned-presidential candidate concluded before getting cut off by NBC moderator Lester Holt: “That’s the choice we face: Do you want a leader from a different generation who’s going to put this country first, or do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels — in which case we’ve got two of them onstage tonight.”
Ramaswamy’s remark was conspicuously nodding to the theory, as popularized over the last week, that Florida Gov. DeSantis wears shoe inserts in his cowboy boots to make himself taller, an allegation he has denied. Even Megyn Kelly weighed in on the so-called “bootgate,” saying that “tall people are more likely to win elections, so… .”
For her part, Haley responded to Ramaswamy’s onstage verbal attack Wednesday, saying, “They’re actually five-inch heels, and I don’t wear them if I can’t run in them. They’re not a fashion statement. They’re for ammunition.”
Haley exited the stage at the end of the third debate without shaking Ramaswamy’s hand.
Watch a clip from the debate in the video embed above.