US Presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy today backed Israel’s all-out offensive against Hamas and said he would encourage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “smoke those terrorists on his southern border”.
The Indian-American entrepreneur, among the hopefuls for the Republican Presidential candidate tag, was speaking at the Third presidential debate of his party.
Asked what he would tell Netanyahu amid the war triggered by the Hamas attacks on October 7, he said, “What I would tell Bibi is that Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend itself. I would tell him to smoke those terrorists on his southern border,” he said, adding that if he is elected US President, “I will be smoking the terrorists on our southern border.”
While the other Presidential hopefuls — Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie — also backed Israel’s war against Hamas, Ramaswamy referred to them as “neocons” while positioning himself as an America First candidate.
“Neocon” refers to Neoconservatism. a foreign policy stand that pushes for backing democracy globally and interventionism in international affairs. Neoconservatives back the military philisophy of peace through strength.
“I want to be careful to avoid making the mistakes from the neocon establishment of the past. Corrupt politicians in both parties spent trillions, killed millions, made billions for themselves in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting wars that sent thousands of our sons and daughters, people my age to die in wars that did not advance anyone’s interest, adding seven trillion dollars to our national debt,” he said.
Ramaswamy then took a swipe at Haley for her foreign policy stand and said the choice US faces is between a “leader from a different generation who is gonna puts this country first or do you want Dick Cheney in three-inch heels” — a reference to former US vice-president during George Bush’s term at the White House when US fought its war in Iraq.