My take on the last Republican presidential debate that took place recently could be summarized as a fireworks show indeed. The verbal sparring match between Chris Christie and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was the main highlight of the evening. Christie fiercely defended former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley against the constant jabs from Ramaswamy, who has targeted her in these debates.
Ramaswamy established himself as the top debater that night by landing comeback after comeback, delivering blows to Christie and ridiculing his foreign policy experience. He even managed to throw in a weight joke directed at Christie. The impact of these verbal exchanges showed in the aftermath of the debate, as Christie went on to complain about Ramaswamy in a CNN interview, calling him a “jackass” with a “smart-ass Harvard mouth.”
Beyond the entertaining spectacle of the debate, Ramaswamy also tackled what the media would label as right-wing conspiracy theories. He spoke about the Jan. 6 events, the 2020 election, and the great replacement theory. Christie’s attempt to redeem his tough-guy image post-debate did little to overshadow the hits he took during the event.
The uneasy night got worse for Christie as he ended up in a heated confrontation with debate moderator Megyn Kelly, highlighting the former governor’s unfavorable standing within the Republican party. It was indeed a tough night for Chris Christie, and it remains to be seen if he can recover from this setback.