It quickly got personal. Then it turned ugly.
One of the most emotional moments of the Republican debate on Wednesday unfolded when Vivek Ramaswamy said he wanted to laugh at Nikki Haley’s pledge to ban TikTok over national security concerns.
Mr. Ramaswamy, the Ohio entrepreneur, scolded Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, for allowing her adult daughter to use the app, which Mr. Ramaswamy defends.
“She made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time,” Mr. Ramaswamy said. “So you might want to take care of your family first before preaching to anyone else.”
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Ms. Haley snapped back.
The wording from Ms. Haley evoked, however fleetingly, Will Smith’s outburst at the Academy Awards just after he had slapped Chris Rock, yelling at the comedian to keep Mr. Smith’s wife’s name out of his mouth.
“The next generation of Americans are using it, and that’s actually the point,” Mr. Ramaswamy continued, as a smattering of boos erupted from the audience. “You have her supporters propping her up — that’s fine.”
Ms. Haley, unlike Mr. Smith, kept her hands to herself.
“You’re just scum,” she told Mr. Ramaswamy.