FLASHBACK: Ramaswamy’s ‘bought and paid for’ debate attack echoes similar line Trump was booed for in 2016

One of the biggest moments from last week’s first Republican presidential debate appeared to echo a similar moment that occurred during a primary debate in the 2016 election cycle. Political outsider Vivek Ramaswamy turned heads at the Fox News debate Wednesday during a discussion whether human behavior creates climate change. “I’m the only person on this stage who isn’t bought and paid for,” Ramaswamy declared. That comment elicited intense boos from the audience and sparked a line of attacks from former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  However, to some viewers, that exchange was reminiscent of one then-candidate Donald Trump had with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at a primary debate in February 2016.  CNN, POLITICO JOURNALISTS REPORTEDLY SAID VIVEK RAMASWAMY ‘COULD BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT’ Bush went after Trump over an accusation that the celebrity billionaire attempted to use eminent domain to take property from an elderly woman in Atlantic City, New Jersey, something he denied. As Trump was giving his response knocking Bush as being a “tough guy,” Bush interrupted and asked, “How tough is it take property from an elderly woman?” “Quiet,” Trump scolded Bush while lifting his finger over his mouth.  VIVEK RAMASWAMY WAS THE MOST GOOGLE-SEARCHED CANDIDATE AT THE GOP DEBATE Like Ramaswamy, that fueled loud boos from the audience. However, then Trump took aim at the booers themselves. “That’s all of his donors and special interests out there, it’s what it is,” Trump pointed at the audience, invoking a laugh from Bush. Trump then accused the RNC of only allotting tickets for the debate to “donors” and “special interests.” “And by the way, let me just tell you- we needed tickets. You can’t get them. You know who has the tickets? I’m talking about — to the television audience — donors, special interests, the people that are putting up the money,” Trump said, which elicited even more boos.  “The RNC told us we have all donors in the audience and the reason — excuse me,” Trump scolded the audience for the ongoing booing. “The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money. I’m gonna do the right thing for the American public. I don’t want their money, I don’t need their money, and I’m the only one up here who can say that.” RAMASWAMY SAYS HE EMBRACES THE MEDIA HEAT AHEAD OF FIRST GOP DEBATE: ‘IT MAKES ME STRONGER AS A CANDIDATE’ The 2016 debate spat resurfaced after the first GOP showdown of the 2024 presidential primary race, inspiring many on social media to agree that the two moments sound similar — some called it “deja vu.”  Ramaswamy himself shared the clip with his followers on X, formerly known as Twitter. 
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