New Delhi: Indian-American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has withdrawn from the 2024 US presidential race and thrown his support behind Donald Trump following a lackluster performance in the Iowa Republican caucuses. Initially entering the race in February 2023 as a relatively unknown figure in political circles, Ramaswamy gained attention and Republican voter support by espousing strong views on immigration and advocating for an America-first approach. His campaign strategy closely mirrored that of former President Trump, both in tone and policy, as he aimed to tap into the conservative base that had previously propelled Trump to success.
On the same night, Trump secured victory in Iowa, solidifying his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Ramaswamy, an Ohio native born to immigrant parents from Kerala, emerged as an unexpected contender in a Republican field still dominated by Trump’s influence. However, the tables turned against Ramaswamy in the final days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, as Trump publicly denounced him, branding him a “fraud” on his social media platform Truth Social. Donald Trump asserted that a vote for the Indian-American was a vote for the “other side.” In Iowa, Ramaswamy finished fourth, securing around 7.7% 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.
During debates, Ramaswamy’s fellow Republican presidential hopefuls, notably former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, expressed frustration with him. Haley, herself of Indian origin, took a jibe at him, stating, “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.”
With Trump taking the lead, Ron DeSantis secured second place, surpassing Ms. Haley in the Iowa caucuses.
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