One of Vivek Ramaswamy’s most praised lines among conservatives during last week’s Republican presidential debate came when he addressed the “epidemic of fatherlessness” and the importance of the nuclear family.

But one presidential candidate — who wasn’t on the debate stage in Milwaukee — is claiming Ramaswamy stole the line from him without attribution.

Larry Elder told the Deseret News he believes Ramaswamy’s riff on fatherlessness, in which he praised the nuclear family as “the greatest form of governance known to mankind,” was taken from Elder’s own stump speeches.

“I’ve been on the same stage with (Ramaswamy) many times in Iowa and in New Hampshire. He never once mentioned (fatherlessness),” Elder said. “He did on Wednesday and I’m happy that he did it. It would’ve been kind of nice if he had mentioned something like, ‘My friend Larry Elder has been saying this over and over again.’ I think it’s important for him to do that.”

When asked if Elder was arguing that Ramaswamy took the line from him, Elder doubled down.

“Can you spell, ‘duh’? Of course he got it from me,” Elder said. “I’ve been on stage with him many times. He never once mentioned it.”

Elder did not participate in the debate after the Republican National Committee decided he did not meet the requirements for eligibility. Candidates had to reach both fundraising and polling standards, and the RNC determined that one of the polls he used was invalid.

Elder traveled to Milwaukee anyway, though he was barred from entering Fiserv Arena, where the debate was held. He says he has filed a formal complaint against the RNC.

Ramaswamy’s mention of fatherlessness came after Fox News host Bret Baier — one of the debate’s moderators — asked about the “crisis of education” in the U.S.

“I did have the ultimate privilege of two parents in the house with a focus on educational achievement, and I want every kid to enjoy that,” Ramaswamy said.

“Part of the problem is we also have a federal government that pays single women more not to have a man in the house than to have a man in the house, contributing to an epidemic of fatherlessness,” he continued. “And I think that goes hand in glove with the education crisis as well, because we have to remember, education starts with the family, and the nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.”

Minutes after the debate concluded on Wednesday, Elder tweeted that he was “happy” Vivek mentioned fatherlessness as a serious domestic issue: “It’s about time. Let’s hope the other candidates, the Democrats and the media start addressing this number one social problem in America.”

But two days later, Elder tweeted a clipped video of Elder and Ramaswamy side-by-side — Elder at the Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines in July and Ramaswamy at the debate — as both talk about the “epidemic of fatherlessness.”

Ramaswamy campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin denied that Ramaswamy took the lead from Elder on the issue, pointing to an April podcast and “dozens of other instances” in which Ramaswamy has discussed the issue.

“Vivek has been talking about the issue of fatherlessness since the start of his campaign,” McLaughlin said. “We applaud Larry Elder for also talking about this critical issue. We need more voices in the Republican Party and across partisan lines speaking up about this problem which plagues many American families and communities.”

Following the positive response from conservatives on the issue, Ramaswamy will be rolling out a new platform encouraging two-parent households, making it “a major part of his economic and education policy plans,” Semafor reported.

But Elder holds that not only did Ramaswamy take the talking point from him, but Ramaswamy promised to credit Elder during the debate.

“I can tell you about a private conversation he and I had where we talked about this issue,” Elder said. “And privately he said that if I’m not on the debate stage, he will bring up the issue of fatherlessness because I asked him to, and he will mention that Larry Elder had been bringing this issue to the forefront. Well, he did part of that, but not the other part.”

“It was kind of bothersome that he did not credit me with raising the issue nobody was talking about,” Elder continued.