Vivek Ramaswamy and his wife Apoorva are making their way through Iowa over the next several days, hosting up to seven stops per day as they campaign in the Hawkeye State ahead of the Iowa Caucuses. Around 75 people filled the Bloom Senior Center in Glenwood to hear from the candidate at 6 PM yesterday evening.
Ramaswamy sees winning Iowa as a pivotal moment in his effort to win the Republican nomination, so much so that he’s rented a “second home” in Des Moines as he campaigns through the state. “If I win Iowa, I’m your next president. That’s a fact. We shatter the expectations.”
Ramaswamy, a young pharmaceutical entrepreneur with a net worth close to $1 billion, is largely self-financing his campaign. “Every politician dances to the tune of their biggest donor,” he said. “In my case, that biggest donor is me. And we’re going to keep it that way, because we don’t want to be somebody else’s circus monkey.”
Ramaswamy first emerged on the political scene when he started an investment company called Strive, which was crated to compete against Blackrock and its attempt to push left-wing politics through the financial sector via the use of “Environmental Social Governance” (ESG).
Ramaswamy’s decision to run for President came shortly thereafter, as he saw a problem with America’s national identity. “We have celebrated our diversity and our differences for so long that we forgot all of the ways we are really just the same as Americans,” Ramaswamy said. “If we can revive that dream over group identity and victimhood and grievance, then nobody in the world, not a nation, not a corporation, not a virus, not China is going to defeat us.”
Ramaswamy holds many standard conservative positions, such as opposing affirmative action and supporting school choice. He stands apart from most of his Republican colleagues by strongly opposing intervention in foreign conflicts, including those currently underway in Ukraine. He also advocated for pegging the dollar to “gold, silver, nickel, and agriculture” as means of fighting inflation, as well as a “90% headcount reduction at he US Federal Reserve,” aligning him very much with the libertarian “Ron Paul” faction of the Republican Party a decade ago.
Ramaswamy had a 40-minute Q&A with guests after his stump speech answering questions on ethanol, education, and reaching out to Gen Z. I asked Ramaswamy what his “Plan B” would be if Donald Trump were the nominee and was incarcerated before election day 2024. In Ramaswamy’s response, he distanced himself from the former President. “I think we need somebody now with fresh legs who has not been wounded in that war,” Ramaswamy said. “Trump and I respect each other … and I respect what he did for this country, but we need to now take that America First agenda to the next level. The America First agenda does not belong to one man. It’s bigger than one man.” It’s bigger than any of us, bigger than Donald Trump. It doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to you the people of this country.”
Ramaswamy also said, “I will pardon him on day one. I’ll take him as an advisor. Tell me where the bodies are buried. We’re cutting down the Deep State. He rolled over the log. We saw what crawled out. Now I’m bringing the pesticide.”