After the conclusion of the fourth Republican debate in Alabama, moderated by NewsNation, a heated exchange unfolded between “Fox & Friends” morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade and GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
Ramaswamy, accompanied by Fox News reporter and morning show co-host Lawrence Jones in Tuscaloosa, found himself engaged in a lively on-air debate with Kilmeade, as reported by The Western Journal.
Initially, Jones expressed disapproval of Ramaswamy’s critiques directed at fellow GOP contender and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Ramaswamy responded calmly to these criticisms. However, when Kilmeade took the reins, the exchange quickly escalated, with the co-host focusing predominantly on Ramaswamy’s policy proposals related to the Ukraine-Russia war.
“His policy—it’s just ridiculous on Russia and Ukraine,” said Kilmeade. After confirming that the candidate could hear him, Kilmeade spoke to the candidate directly.
“Hey, Vivek, are you comfortable with Russia taking as much of Ukraine as they want? Are you comfortable pulling all our aid out? And do you really believe that Vladimir Putin will agree not to have an alliance with China?” Kilmeade asked.
He responded by stating how critical it is to “play hardball” and that there needs to be a “maximum pressure campaign.”
“What I’m saying, Brian, is the clear principles are: This war doesn’t advance U.S. interest. The Russia-China alliance is the top threat that we face,” Ramaswamy said.
Fox News’ Kilmeade wasn’t having it though…
“Vivek, are you comfortable giving up Eastern Europe? Because, you know, they’re already taking Moldova, already making moves on the Baltic, they’re taking more and more pieces of Georgia, and all we’ve done is sit there and send blankets and MREs, and we got an invasion,” Kilmeade said.
The candidate’s response received a round of applause from an audience behind him.
“Because we have no idea how Ukraine has spent $200 billion of our money. We’re forking over more taxpayer money so some Ukrainian kleptocrat can buy a bigger house. That’s corrupt, and I’m not going to stand for that,” Ramaswamy said.
At that juncture, co-host Ainsley Earhardt tried to intercede but eventually refrained, allowing her co-host and the candidate to persist in their debate regarding purported parallels between the present Ukraine situation and World War II, with occasional references to the turmoil along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I think it is offensive that people would sooner spend $200 billion of our resources to protect some other nation’s foreign border — that’s not a democracy — when in fact, we’re not even doing that effectively here on our border,” Ramaswamy said, as the audience applauded again.
Watch the full exchange: