Chris Christie delivered a scathing rebuke to Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur-turned-pharmaceutical executive, at the first Republican primary debate, which took place in Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
The New Jersey governor accused the former Obama DoJ litigator, who is running as a long-shot candidate, of borrowing a line originally used by Barack Obama himself while giving his first nationally televised speech in 2004.
“Let me just address the question that is on everybody’s mind at home tonight: Who the heck is this skinny guy with a funny last name, and what the heck is he doing in the middle of this debate stage?” said Ramaswamy during—which Christie followed up by noting that Obama’s “skinny kid with a funny name” line was used by Obama in the same context.
“I’ve had enough already of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT. The last guy who stood on a stage and described himself as a skinny guy with a funny name was Barack Obama.. I’m afraid we’re dealing with the same type of amateur,” Christie stated in an address to roars from the audience.
At the Fox News Debate, Christie slams Vivek both for sounding like ChatGPT AND for plagiarizing Obama pic.twitter.com/ozFvPPTLHD
— John Hasson (@SonofHas) August 24, 2023
Ramaswamy was the rookie on the debate stage, but failed to make a splash, as Christie's criticism called into question whether Ramaswamy was 'stealing' Obama's line or simply using it unknowingly. Such Plagiarism allegations are heavily scrutinized by journalists, media pundits, and political opponents and generally have the potential to become a sizable distraction during a primary contender race.
As Christie proclaimed, Ramaswamy’s aim is to “gut the entire federal administrative state” and bring about a “revolution” in the current political landscape. Christie, however, suggested that Ramaswamy is simply too inexperienced to pull it off. Amusingly enough, Ramaswamy was only brought in to counter the slew of front-runners that include President Donald Trump.
The recent criticism levied against Ramaswamy has left many wondering whether he is trying to right Obama’s wrongs or simply overreaching and borrowing lines from a former president. Christie's dressing down of Ramaswamy quickly settled any debate of whether the upstart was indeed making the same mistakes as the former president.
Given the fact that Obama won the popular vote in both 2008 and 2012, any form of plagiarism that Ramaswamy is accused of could costly in an election cycle that will largely be fought for voters' hearts and minds. With this in mind, it'll be interesting to see how Ramaswamy attempts to move forward from the controversy created by his own words.
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) August 24, 2023