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Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.”, announced Monday night he is suspending his presidential campaign.
“We did not achieve the surprise that we wanted to deliver tonight,” he said.
Ramaswamy, who predicted to Axios in October a “solid second or third” finish in the Iowa caucuses, came in fourth in the first presidential contest. Former President Donald Trump dominated the caucuses. Ramaswamy has endorsed Trump for the nomination.
On the campaign trail, Ramaswamy tried to emphasize “America First” policies, a stance that has proven popular with supporters of Trump.
“I wouldn’t call myself a disciple of Donald Trump,” Ramaswamy told NPR last May. “I would embrace the label of ‘America First’ to point out that ‘America first’ is bigger than Donald Trump. It does not belong to Donald Trump.”
Ramaswamy said his campaign was centered on bringing back a sense of national identity.
“I’m looking at a need in our country and a job that needs to be done that I see very few people stepping up to actually deliver, which is to answer what it even means to be an American today — to revive our missing national identity, especially in the next generation of Americans,” he said.
His policy proposals ranged from cutting the Federal Reserve workforce by at least 90%, deporting American-born children of undocumented immigrants, and raising the voting age to 25.
As a vocal member of the “anti-woke” movement, the former entrepreneur claimed his presidency would fight against “woke” policies.
But his campaign was also marked by his amplification of conspiracy theories — including that the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was an “inside job”, the 2020 election was stolen, and his comments that the “Great Replacement theory,” which has origins in white supremacist ideology, is part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
His persona also drew criticism from his competitors. During a GOP debate, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” after he commented on Haley’s parenting and brought up her daughter. Haley also attacked Ramaswamy for his position on the war in Ukraine, saying, “You have no foreign policy experience and it shows.”
In another debate, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Ramaswamy “the most obnoxious blowhard in America.”
Before venturing into politics, Ramaswamy founded his biotech and pharmaceutical company, Roivant Sciences Ltd. In 2022, he founded Strive Asset Management, an “anti-woke” index fund provider.