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Tucker Carlson, Ramaswamy call Haley an establishment 'puppet' in GOP

Ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy attacked GOP candidate Nikki Haley on Wednesday for her hawkish war positions and accused her of being a “puppet” of the political establishment in Washington.

In an interview with Ramaswamy posted on X, formerly Twitter, Carlson railed against Haley and accused her of being exactly like Democratic donors — pointing specifically to her unwavering commitment to Ukraine as it fights Russia and to Israel as it fights Hamas, the US-designated terrorist organization that governs the Gaza Strip.

“If you’re a Democratic mega donor, this is a very tough moment for you. Your candidate is going to lose,” Carlson said, referring to President Biden’s poor polling performance in recent months.

Carlson then said Democratic donors must instead be turning to Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and United Nations Ambassador in the Trump administration.

“So what do you do? Well, if you’re smart, maybe you subvert the other party. Maybe you back a Republican candidate who’s actually a Democrat whose priorities are identical to yours. And of course, they found one, her name is Nikki Haley,” Carlson said, pointing to her purported support for “endless neocon wars.”

“Strip away all the outward characteristics, and Nikki Haley is identical in her priorities to Joe Biden and the people who back Joe Biden,” he added.

In the interview, Ramaswamy supported Carlson’s conclusion but claimed the support that Haley is seeing — which Carlson claimed to be Democratic in nature — was actually bipartisan and included Republican relics of the Bush-Cheney era.

All of those people, Ramaswamy said, were using Haley as a puppet in order to defeat Trump.

“I think the true puppet masters, the thing about them, is they’re fundamentally nonpartisan in nature,” Ramaswamy said. “There’s a few things they care about: Keeping the foreign war machine humming is high on the list. Keeping the administrative state’s control of the United States is also high on the list. They found a much more convenient puppet within the Republican Party itself.”

“It’s not Biden, and it’s not even Gavin Newsom. It’s Nikki Haley within the Republican Party itself,” he continued. “And I think that that makes for a very convenient front man because then they actually have absolved themselves from any allegations of partisanship or Democratic partisanship against Donald Trump.”

Haley has recently seen a bump in the polls, with an average of 11.3 percent in national GOP primary polls, according to Decision Desk HQ. In second place nationally, she recently surpassed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s national polling average of 11 percent. Trump still leads with 64.1 percent support and Ramaswamy has 4.4 percent support.

Haley has been the target of Ramaswamy’s ire for months but had largely avoided facing sharp criticism from other candidates or severe scrutiny from media before her recent popularity boost.

Haley’s unwavering support for Ukraine and Israel, as they fight their respective wars against Russia and Hamas, has differentiated her from some other leading GOP candidates who hold more isolationist foreign policy views.

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