Written by Alexandra Ulmer
(Reuters) –Vivek RamaswamyThe billionaire former biotech executive ended his bid for the White House on Monday and announced his support. donald trump His surprise bid attracted attention but failed to catapult him to sufficient standing for the Republican Party's first nomination in Iowa.
Ramaswamy, 38, who was born in Ohio to immigrant parents from southern India, was one of the surprise figures in former President Donald Trump's 2024 Republican race.
Ramaswamy, who passionately defended Trump throughout the campaign, is likely to secure a place in Republican politics with his youthful demeanor, deep pockets, and fast-talking, combative campaign.
But President Trump turned on him in the final days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, calling him a “con artist” and claiming that a vote for Ramaswamy was a vote for “the other side.”
Still, Ramaswamy endorsed Trump on Monday, saying Trump is an “America first” candidate and will receive his full support.
“There's no way I'm going to be the next president,” Ramaswamy told supporters in Des Moines after partial results from the Iowa caucuses showed him in fourth place with about 7.7% of the vote. .
In his victory speech, Trump adopted a softer tone toward Ramaswamy. “I also want to congratulate Mr. Vivek, because he has done a great job,” President Trump said.
The Harvard-educated Ramaswamy is thanks to his 2021 bestseller Woke, Inc., which decries the decisions of some large companies to base their business strategies on concerns about social justice and climate change. He gained fame in right-wing circles.
His combative debate performances and focus on the media, especially social media, drew headlines but alienated some voters and the buzz around him died down in the fall.
By the end of 2023, his national polling numbers among likely Republican primary voters had languished in the low single digits.
Ramaswamy's fellow Republican candidates have often appeared irritated with the newcomer in debates, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley even criticizing Ramaswamy during one controversial moment. said this.
But he has garnered some support, or at least interest, among the libertarian crowd and the tech industry. Among them is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who Ramaswamy confirmed to Reuters that he participated in a fundraiser on his behalf in the fall.
Ramaswamy said he was a liberal as a student, but has advocated very conservative policy positions.
During his campaign, he opposed affirmative action, supported state-level bans on abortions after six weeks, greatly expanded the powers of the president, and dismantled much of the federal government, including the FBI and the Department of Education. He said he wanted to.
Mr. Ramaswamy also reflected a growing isolationist movement within the Republican Party, once made up of foreign policy hardliners. He opposed Ukraine's membership in NATO and said Kiev should make concessions to Russia to end the war, such as allowing Russia to keep parts of occupied Ukraine.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Ross Colvin, Deepa Babington and Daniel Wallis)