The US: Ramaswamy quits, backs Trump’s presidential bid in 2024
New Delhi: Indian-American and unapologetic Hindu Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, on Monday quit the presidential race for 2024 and supported former President Donald Trump, 77, who is trying to return to the White House a second time.
Biotech millionaire Ramaswamy, who was also vying for a Republican nomination, dropped out of the 2024 US presidential race and announced his support for Trump, after a lackluster performance in the Iowa Republican caucuses, the media reported on Tuesday.
The Indian-American, relatively unknown in political circles until he entered the race in February 2023, managed to garner attention and support among Republican voters through his strong opinions on immigration and an America-first approach.
His campaign strategy closely mirrored that of former President Trump, both in terms of tone and policy. Ramaswamy sought to tap into the conservative base that had propelled Trump to success in previous elections.
As he quit, on Monday night, Trump emerged triumphant in Iowa, solidifying his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Ramaswamy, an Ohio native, born to immigrant parents from Kerala, emerged as one of the unexpected contenders in a Republican field still dominated by Trump’s supporters.
However, the tides turned against Ramaswamy in the final days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, as Trump publicly denounced him, labeling him a “fraud” on his social media platform Truth Social and asserting that a vote for the Indian-American was a vote for the “other side.”
In Iowa, Ramaswamy finished fourth, securing only around 7.7 percent of the votes.
The Harvard-educated millionaire gained prominence in right-wing circles with his 2021 bestseller, “Woke, Inc.,” a scathing critique of corporate decisions based on social justice and climate change concerns.
Ramaswamy’s fellow Republican presidential hopefuls often expressed frustration with him during debates, particularly former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, herself of Indian origin, who took a jibe at him, saying, “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.”
With Trump finishing at the pole position, Ron DeSantis bested Haley for second place in the Iowa caucuses.