Vivek Ramaswamy stole one of his opening lines at Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate straight from former President Barack Obama. Ramaswamy introduced himself as a “skinny guy with a funny last name” after receiving his first question from moderator Bret Baier in Milwaukee on Wednesday. The phrase echoed Obama’s own choice of words when he introduced himself to the country while delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
“So, first let me just address a question that’s on everybody’s mind at home tonight: Who the heck is this skinny guy with a funny last name and what the heck is he doing in the middle of this debate stage?” Ramaswamy joked, echoing Obama almost word-for-word.
In 2004, Obama referred to himself as “a skinny kid with a funny name,” a joke that was met with laughter and applause from the audience. At the time, Obama was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, but the speech would launch his political career on a trajectory to the White House.
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Only one candidate called out Ramaswamy for stealing words from the former president, and that was former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who quickly retorted:
“I’ve had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT,”
“The last person in one of these debates … who stood in the middle of the stage and said, ‘What is a skinny guy with an odd last name doing up here?’ was Barack Obama. And I am afraid we are dealing with the same type of amateur standing on the stage tonight,”