GOP Candidates Asked To Give Their Positions On Banning China-Controlled TikTok
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (L) and US Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott (R) arrive for the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, on November 8, 2023.
GIORGIO VIERA / AFP via Getty Images

The five presidential candidates who attended the third Republican debate in Miami were asked to give their positions on banning TikTok, an app controlled by China’s communist government.

The candidates were asked their positions on the matter in response to the app being flooded with pro-Hamas propaganda after the unprecedented terrorist attack last month in which the terror group murdered 1,400 Israelis.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called TikTok “spyware,” saying that it was “polluting the minds of American young people all throughout this country.”

“And they’re doing it intentionally,” he said. “And when you saw what happened in the last few weeks, with all of this anti-Semitic, horrible stuff that their algorithms were pushing out at a gargantuan rate — this is China trying to further divide the United States of America. And this is one of the big failings, among many, of the Trump administration. He talked tough about TikTok. I heard him do it many times. But when it came down to it, he did not ban them when he could have and should have. And now since then, we’ve had an additional, nearly six years of this type of poison being put out throughout the United States, even putting aside the spying, which we know is going on, and the theft of American personal data and information.”

He said that if he was president he would ban TikTok during his first week in office.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis agreed, saying that China was the “top threat” that the U.S. faces and that “they’ve been very effective at infiltrating different parts of our society.”

“So my policy on China and the Chinese Communist Party is very simple: we win, they lose,” he said. “And in order to do that, it’s not just military, it’s economic and it’s cultural. And as the dad of a six, five, and a three-year-old, I’m concerned about the data that they’re getting from our young people, and what they’re doing to pollute the minds of our young people. These kids get these devices, and they have a mind of their own.”

DeSantis said that winning the culture war against China was critical to being able to beat them militarily and economically.


When former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was asked to respond, she instead attacked DeSantis over what she claimed was his record on dealing with China. DeSantis strongly pushed back on her assertions.

Pharmaceutical executive Vivek Ramaswamy took a swipe at Haley once he was asked to answer the question, saying, “I want to laugh at why Nikki Haley didn’t answer your question, which was about looking at families in the eye.”

Haley and Ramaswamy ended up getting into an intense back-and-forth that resulted in Haley calling Ramaswamy “scum.”

Ramaswamy later did answer the question and suggested that the app should be banned and said that U.S. companies should be banned from transferring data to the Chinese.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said, “What we should do is ban TikTok, period.”

“If you cannot ban TikTok, you should eliminate the Chinese presence on the app, period,” he continued. “We also should provide — in my parents Bill of Rights, we give parents the opportunity to give their kids permission under 14 to be on those apps. I think it’s incredibly important for us as Americans to take back control of the information, especially of our kids. Where does it go? We should know that. One of the ways that we get to know that is by having a parental consent. But if we can eliminate TikTok, that is a first step.”


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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  GOP Candidates Asked To Give Their Positions On Banning China-Controlled TikTok