GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is getting more scrutiny as he continues to rise in several state and national polls.
In an online video, Ramaswamy said “the knives are coming out” as his profile rises in the GOP field. The 37-year-old biotech company founder is known for his unconventional political background and statements that deviate from traditional conservative stances. (Related: GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy develops ingenious way to help raise money – an ‘affiliate program.’)
Conservatives view Ramaswamy’s opposition to “woke capitalism” and advocacy for a separation between business and political agendas as an unusual approach for a GOP candidate. Ramaswamy presents himself as a government skeptic and an outsider like former President Donald Trump.
Records show that Ramaswamy contributed $2,700 to the campaign of Dena Grayson, a Florida Democratic congressional candidate in 2016. He also donated $500 in 2014 to a Massachusetts state senate candidate with strong connections to the Obama administration. He even received an endorsement from Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.
However, he clarified that these donations were made to a college acquaintance and were not intended as a political statement.
Ramaswamy has also suggested raising the minimum voting age to 25. Based on his residence and election records in Franklin County, Ohio, he registered as “unaffiliated” in November 2021, rather than as a Republican.
It’s not exactly a surprise because Ramaswamy mentioned in an interview that he does not believe in conforming to rigid party lines, although he identifies as a Republican. He even abstained from voting in subsequent presidential elections until 2020, when he supported Trump.
Moreover, his statements on issues such as abortion and animal rights have drawn both interest and skepticism. His claim that decisions about abortion should be left to the states has sparked debates about his alignment with socially conservative values. His belief that “it is wrong to kill sentient animals for culinary pleasure” as a Hindu could also potentially clash with the agricultural interests of states like Iowa.
Another key point of contention is the advocacy for higher inheritance tax rates. Rural Iowans worry about the potential impact on family farms and the transfer of wealth between generations when Ramaswamy proposed rates as high as 59 percent. Critics argue that such policies could adversely affect small businesses and hinder economic growth.
Ramaswamy to pardon Trump if elected president
Ramaswamy also intends to grant a pardon to Trump if the former president would be convicted from an assortment of charges, including the one accusing him of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections.
In a video posted on his Twitter account on August 2, he defended Trump on the issue. “Donald Trump isn’t the cause of what happened on Jan. 6. The real cause was systematic and pervasive censorship of citizens in the year leading up to it. If you tell people they can’t speak, that’s when they scream. If you tell people they can’t scream, that’s when they tear things down. If we fail to admit the truth, Jan. 6 will just be a preview of far worse to come, and I don’t want to see us get there.”
Trump is now facing a total of 40 charges, including allegations of tampering with security footage at his Mar-a-Lago resort and retaining classified information without authorization.