As the battle for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination heats up, Vivek Ramaswamy is taking swings at both his political opponents and his own party. Are the powers that be trying to silence him? Here is the full story.
His Trusty Sidearm
At a New Hampshire town hall in October, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy pulled out one of his favorite verbal weapons against his political rivals.
In Their Back Pockets
In particular, Ramaswamy told voters gathered for the event that the frontrunners for the Republican nomination were all beholden to big-money political machines.
Shills for the Man
Ramaswamy said that Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and other Republican candidates are nothing but shills for the political action committees, or PACs, who are supporting their campaigns.
He’s Every Man
On the other hand, Ramaswamy paints himself as a political outsider who wants to make a real difference for rank-and-file Americans like himself.
Collision Course with Hannity
Some of that rhetoric came to a head during a recent interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News.
Hannity for Haley
During their discussion, Hannity took Ramaswamy to task for suggesting that Nikki Haley is corrupt because she “is in a position to get wealthier from war.”
Not Really a Republican
Hannity charged that Ramaswamy is not really a Republican and suggested that the candidate only switched parties for political gain.
It’s a Good Thing!
Ramaswamy admitted that 2020 was the first time he had voted Republican, but he also tried to turn that into a positive.
Not a Partisan Hack
“You’re right. I’m not a partisan hack,” Ramaswamy told Hannity. He went on to say that he was an independent thinker who would vote how he thought best in any given election.
What Went Wrong?
But Ramaswamy got defensive when one of the New Hampshire voters asked him about “what went wrong” during the Hannity interview.
Trying to Silence Him
Ramaswamy responded that “they” are trying to silence him. He then narrowed that broad brush down a bit by citing a specific incident.
A Friendly Dialog?
Earlier in the month, Ramaswamy was set to sit down alongside former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to speak with Fox’s Bret Baier.
Cease and Desist
But the Republican National Committee (RNC) put the kibosh on those plans since Christie is also running for president.
You Can’t Do That!
According to the rules laid out by the RNC, two candidates are forbidden from making a public appearance together outside of officially sanctioned debates.
No Debate for You
The penalty for violating that statute would be a ban from participating in any future debates.
Piling on the Persecution
That scuttled appearance rankled Ramaswamy, and the confrontation with Hannity just amped up his self-cultivated persona as a persecuted outsider.
Look in the Mirror
But, while Ramaswamy doubles down on his criticism of the hold he says PACs have over other candidates in the race, his detractors say he’s throwing stones inside his own glass house.
His Own Big-Buck Backers
They point to the fact that Ramaswamy’s campaign is relying, at least in part, on money from his own super PAC, American Exceptionalism. That group had spent more than $3 million on campaign advertising through the middle of October.
Skin in the Game
As usual, Ramaswamy has a comeback, pointing out that he has spent about $18 million of his own money on his campaign.
He Comes Out Swinging
Whether Ramaswamy is truly an outsider or just another newcomer looking for a way inside remains up for debate. What’s not debatable is that he’s happy to trade punches with anyone and everyone as he sets his sights on the White House.
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