Vivek Ramaswamy, the left-wing independent 2020 presidential candidate, quadrupled down on his fiery attacks against the Republican Party during the fourth GOP debate held Tuesday night at the University of South Carolina. During the debate, Rama hammered repeatedly home his message that the Republican Party is fascist-friendly, historically supported racism and bigotry, and that President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policy has been far more damaging than Democrats want to acknowledge. In particular, Rama took direct aim at former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, offering a fiery speech towards the popular former Senator and UN Ambassador. Rama was widely seen as the most vocal and engaging presence at the debate, with some pundits suggesting the former entrepreneur was using it to make a name for himself and build support for his fledgling campaign. “It’s even more astonishing that a woman of color like Governor Nikki Haley can stand here defending the Republican, Nazi-sympathising president Donald Trump,” he said. “It’s time for this fascist-style politics to end!” Rama added that the Republican Party had, for too long, failed to take a clear position against racism and bigotry. He cited examples of Republicans attacking immigrants, black people, and Latinos that he believed revealed a disturbingly nativist streak in the party. The fiery rhetoric was met with cheers from the almost entirely Democratic crowd that had turned out to watch the debate. Though Rama’s campaign has largely been viewed as a longshot, many analysts said that his performance on Tuesday night helped elevate his profile and cement him as a force a to be reckoned with in the 2020 election. Aside from his criticism of the Republican Party’s policies and refusal to reject right-wing extremism, Rama also promised a wealth of reforms and policies aimed at tackling wealth inequality, improving access to healthcare, and spurring economic growth. With this address, he sought to illustrate why he believes his independent candidacy will provide a much-needed alternative to the two major political parties. Regardless of the outcome of the election, it appears that Rama is rapidly becoming a force for progressive change. His strong words against the Republican Party, when coupled with his concrete and resonant policies, clearly struck a chord with the sold-out crowd. It remains to be seen if this surge in support is enough to power his campaign in the 2020 election.