Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was grilled about his specific policy differences with former President Donald Trump, given their apparent political alignment, during an appearance on Fox News on Saturday.
Ramaswamy’s initial response highlighted his youthful vigor at 38-years-old, contrasted with Trump’s age of 77 and saying that he had “fresh legs.”
“We are reaching the next generation of young Americans,” Ramaswamy said. “That is why I can win this election in a landslide in a way that no other candidate can.”
Ramaswamy emphasized his outreach efforts in traditionally Republican-averse areas such as Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, known for its drug epidemic, and Chicago’s inner city. He underscored the importance of not leaving any state, city or American behind, aiming to build a diverse, working-class coalition.
“We’re leaving no state left behind, no city left behind, no American left behind, already building a multiethnic, working-class coalition,” Ramaswamy said. “The 2024 election cannot be a mere 50.1[-percent] victory but should echo the mandate of former President Ronald Reagan’s landslides.”
While acknowledging minor differences with Trump, Ramaswamy reiterated their shared “America First” stance, setting them apart from the “neocons” in the race. He revealed policy distinctions, such as his intent to rescind affirmative action, “militarize” the Mexican border as opposed to Trump’s wall-centric approach, and abolish the Department of Education, contrasting Trump’s nomination of reformist Betsy DeVos.
“The main difference is I will be able to unite this country by leading the next generation of Americans to a vision of what it means to be an American, revive national pride in that next generation where it is lacking,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy expressed confidence in advancing Trump’s “America First” vision further and fostering greater unity. He addressed conflicts with fellow candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former Govs. Chris Christie and Nikki Haley.
During a Fox News debate, Christie likened Ramaswamy to a chatbot and drew parallels between him and former President Barack Obama.
Christie called Ramaswamy “a guy who sounds like ChatGPT” and drew attention to Ramaswamy’s comment about his surname, which reminded him of a remark by Obama in a 2008 debate.
Ramaswamy also addressed a recent spat with Haley, who shares his Indian-American heritage. He had previously tweeted a critique of Haley, referencing her birth name, Nimrata Randhawa, which prompted Haley to accuse Ramaswamy of participating in immature “name games.”
Ramaswamy told Fox News it was a “playful jest” after Haley reportedly mispronounced “Vivek,” which he said “rhymes with cake.”
“I’d expect someone of Nikki’s background to be able to get that right,” he said.
“But I do think that there is a real distinction, and I think that I am the only candidate who is on that stage who is a non-neocon. I believe in standing for American interests: asserting American interests, but only where it advances the U.S.’ interest,” Ramaswamy said.
“That’s very different from other candidates that would sooner send troops to defend an invasion across somebody else’s border than to use troops to defend across the invasion on our own southern border in this country.”
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