2024 hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy topped the list of most Google searches for the first Republican presidential debate.
The political outsider was the hottest topic on the internet Wednesday according to Google Trends.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was the next highest-searched candidate. She was followed by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, which was likely due to his emergency trip to the hospital early Wednesday after he injured his Achilles while playing pick-up basketball ahead of the debate.
Former Vice President Mike Pence was the fourth-searched candidate after his aggressive debate performance which led him to receiving the most speaking time, clocking in at over 12 minutes.
The knives were aimed at Ramawswamy Wednesday night as the entrepreneur has seen a rise in the polls. He got into tense clashes with GOP heavy hitters former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Haley and Pence.
Pence took aim at Ramaswamy over his inexperience and Christie lobbed similar attacks by linking the millennial candidate to Barack Obama, while Haley targeted him over foreign policy.
In the days leading up to the debate, Ramaswamy had been under intense media scrutiny leading to an on-air battle on CNN, a clash with The Atlantic, even unflattering stories published in conservative media.
During a pre-debate interview with Fox News Digital at the site of the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, he offered advice to other candidates like himself: “If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”
“If you’re not willing to talk to hostile media means you’re probably not ready to sit across the table from Xi Jinping,” Ramaswamy said Tuesday.
The 38-year-old political outsider made a not-so-subtle dig at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who referred to his previous ban of NBC News made in February after MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell mischaracterized his state’s education curriculum (DeSantis has since lifted that ban, granting an interview with NBC News earlier this month).
Ramaswamy chalked up DeSantis’ refusing to appear on NBC News because the network “isn’t nice” to him.
“My view is that that might be fine if you want to be a governor of a little kingdom in one of the 50 states of the union but if you actually want to be a president for all Americans and lead this country to national revival, you better darn well be able to face off against the people who actually confront you with different points of view. So I relish that,” Ramaswamy said.
He added, “It actually gives me a sense of energy because I think that makes our country stronger. It makes me stronger as a candidate and as a leader. And so I think it’s a good thing. That’s the process working as it’s supposed to.”
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