OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his 2024 presidential campaign and endorsed former President Donald Trump after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.
Ramaswamy, who had no prior political experience when he entered the 2024 race, gained national attention and experienced a brief surge in the polls by advocating popular ideas and repeatedly praising Trump.
Following Monday’s caucuses, in which he was projected to place fourth, Ramaswamy declared the suspension of his presidential campaign.
“It is true that we did not achieve the surprise that we wanted to deliver tonight,” Ramaswamy said. “As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign. Earlier tonight, I called Donald Trump to tell him that I congratulated him on his victory. And now, going forward, he will have my full endorsement for the presidency.”
In caucus attendees, Ramaswamy garnered approximately 8% of the vote, trailing behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who finished second and third, respectively, with approximately 20% of the vote. In contrast, Trump broke contested caucus records by receiving over 50% of the vote.
Ramaswamy, who entered the race with virtually no name recognition in February of last year, defeated several prominent Republicans, including former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, South Carolina senator Tim Scott, and former vice president Mike Pence.
Restoring American identity and his call to dismantle the bureaucratic state through a radical reduction in the size of the federal government occupied a significant portion of his campaign.
To distinguish himself from 77-year-old Trump, whom he had frequently hailed as the “greatest president” of all time, the 38-year-old additionally contended that Republicans ought to choose a candidate with “fresh legs.”
Although the Iowa caucuses were not in Ramaswamy’s favor, he did not fail for lack of effort. His political campaign emphasized that he had accomplished the “Full Grassley” feat twice, which entailed a minimum of two visits to each of Iowa’s 99 counties.
And he organized the greatest number of campaign events of any candidate in the Hawkeye State. Ramaswamy, a multimillionaire, funded his campaign in large part by himself.
🚨VIVEK: “As of this moment we are going to be suspending this Presidential campaign… This has to be an America First candidate in that White House… Earlier tonight I called Donald Trump… and now going forward he will have my full endorsement for President.” pic.twitter.com/GdcSzKPf3z
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 16, 2024
With the publication of his 2021 book “Woke, Inc.,” the biotech entrepreneur garnered interest within conservative spheres. The book exposed the challenges faced by corporations in the face of social justice movements and identity politics.
However, he began to gain widespread recognition for his exaggerated appearances during the Republican debates, engaging in heated exchanges with several establishment-friendly candidates, most notably Haley, whom he referred to as “corrupt” on a notepad he displayed in a momentary social media meme.
His consistent acceptance of media appearances, irrespective of the platform’s size or the adversarial nature of the outlet, contributed to Ramaswamy’s ascent in the polls throughout 2023. In contrast to other candidates, who were more reticent about granting interviews, Ramaswamy displayed a willingness to engage in such engagements.
The young political outsider received widespread acclaim for his adeptness in handling antagonistic attendees at campaign events who challenged him on matters such as climate change, abortion, and transgender issues.
These confrontations frequently went viral, and people praised Ramaswamy for his exceptional communication skills. Additionally, the conservative base applauded him for his antagonistic exchanges with members of the legacy media.
Ramaswamy faced significant criticism for his unwavering support of Trump during his legal troubles and lavish praise on him during his campaign. In fact, some have alleged that Ramaswamy served as an effective surrogate for Trump during the race.
Certain issues, including his stance on January 6, drew accusations that he was a flip-flopper. GOP adversaries also directed significant criticism towards Ramaswamy due to his foreign policy stances throughout the debates.