Washington DC | Indian American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, running for the Republican presidential nomination, said that he and former President Donald Trump share a deep alignment on policy matters, with over 90 per cent agreement while also acknowledging that there exist “small” differences.
Referring to Trump's "America First" approach to foreign policy and trade, which centers on reducing US trade deficits and rebalancing burden sharing within alliances, Vivek Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old entrepreneur asserted that he and Trump are the only two ‘America First’ candidates and he can take Trump’s agenda even further.
Notably, amid intense campaigning, both Trump and Ramaswamy have been praising each other and appeared to be less critical of each other’s policies.
Speaking at Fox News, Ramaswamy said, “We have some of our areas of differences, but they’re small. By and large, we are the two ‘America First’ candidates in this race, everybody else embraces the neo-con (neo-conservative) foreign policy view. So, I think we are deeply aligned on policies, 90 plus per cent of the way. There are some small differences”.
The term "neocons," which typically characterizes hawkish conservatives advocating for military intervention, had its zenith during the presidency of George W. Bush and his circle of advisors. In this context, when Vivek Ramaswamy mentioned "neocons," he seemed to be alluding to his rival Nikki Haley.
“I would rescind affirmative action, I would militarise the southern border instead of just building the wall. I would shut down the US Department of Education, not just put a good person Betsy DeVos on the top to reform it,” he added.
Ramaswamy further said that Donald Trump laid a “very good foundation”
as the President, and he would take the ‘America First’ agenda further.
“…I would be able to unite this country by leading the next generations of Americans with a vision, of what it means to be an American. Revive national pride in the next generation, where it is lacking. I think we have an opportunity to reunite this country on shared ideals, and that would allow me to take the ‘America First’ agenda even further than Donald Trump did, by building on a very good foundation that Donald Trump laid,” the Indian American leader said.
He added, “And so the fact that I am not running against him, that doesn’t mean anything. I am running for this country…I’m gonna lead us to national unity, that’s my job and I expect to do it as the next President”.
The Ohio-based entrepreneur even claimed that he could win the upcoming presidential poll by a “landslide margin”.
“I’m 38 years old, I have fresh legs. We are reaching the next generation of young Americans. That is why I can win this election in a landslide, in a way no other candidate can. Look at the way, we have run this campaign. I have gone to the University of Chicago…places where traditional Republican candidates dare not touch. We’re leaving no state left behind, no city left behind, no American left behind. We are building a multi-ethnic working-class coalition. I think this cannot be a fifty-point election. I think this has to be a landslide moral mandate, like Ronald Reagan delivered in 1980,” Ramaswamy further said.
Ramaswamy’s remarks on Donald Trump come days after the former President heaped praises on the Indian-American candidate and even signalled that would be open to having him as his running mate, stating that "He would be very good…”.
“Well, I think he’s great. Look, anybody that said I’m the best president in a generation…I have to like a guy like that,” the New York Post quoted Trump as saying to Blaze TV’s Glenn Beck.
“He’s a smart guy. He’s a young guy. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s a very, very, very intelligent person,” Trump added. “He’s got good energy, and he could be in some form of something. I tell you, I think he’d be very good. I think he’s really distinguished himself,” the New York Post quoted Trump as saying.
However, Trump also posed a word of caution for Ramaswamy, who has stumbled into controversy over his policy prescriptions for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine.
“He’s starting to get out there a little bit. He’s getting a little bit controversial,” Trump said. “I got to tell him: ‘Be a little bit careful. Some things you have to hold in just a little bit, right?'” Trump stated, according to the New York Post.
Earlier, Ramaswamy had dubbed Trump “the best president of the 21st century” during last week’s Republican primary debate and has characterized his candidacy as a bid to take the former president’s policies “to the next level.”
Throughout his campaign, Ramaswamy has been one of Trump’s staunchest defenders against the four indictments levelled against him — even vowing to pardon the former president on his first day in office if elected, New York Post reported.
Meanwhile, Ramaswamy drew widespread attention and became one of the most-searched 2024 Republican contenders after the debate at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.
The Indian American entrepreneur had shot up sharply in GOP primary polls, standing tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the second position. However, both candidates lag hugely behind former President Donald Trump who leads with 56 per cent, as per The Hill.
In another poll by RealClearPolitics, Trump is far out in front of the 2024 GOP race with 53.6 per cent support, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 13.5 per cent, and Ramaswamy at 7.3 per cent, New York Post reported.
Ramaswamy's campaign has gained attention, and he has risen in GOP primary polls, although he still trails behind Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in support. The next US presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024.