Can Vivek be Trump's 2024 answer to Biden's 2020 Kamala Harris?

Can Vivek be Trump's 2024 answer to Biden's 2020 Kamala Harris?

New Delhi, Jan 21: Throughout his presidential campaign, the only thing that the voluble and supremely self-assured Indian-American candidate Vivek Ramaswamy did not do was to take on his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, head-on.

Instead, he waxed eloquent about the twice-impeached Trump, facing more than 90 criminal charges, calling him the "greatest President" of the 21st century, pledging to pardon him if elected as the POTUS.

Endorsing the GOP frontrunner after dropping out of the White House bid earlier this week, Ramaswamy has played the 'Trump card' well by saying time and again that he is in step with the former president's approach to what ails the United States.

While one wonders whether he was running against Trump at all, Ramaswamy had said after his campaign announcement that he is "taking the Trump America first agenda to the next level to actually get the job done".


As a TIME report puts it, "publicly, he is perhaps Donald Trump’s most loyal -- if lonely -- defender. From the start of his nascent run, he was careful to stand next to Trump and Trumpism, recognising its potency".

With each supportive move in favour of the almost octogenarian leader, the 38-year-old political newbie not only positioned himself as the "heir-apparent to Trump" but also bettered his chances of running as the 2024's likely president's running mate.

Be it the Colorado Supreme Court ruling, FBI raiding Trump's Florida club, criminal charges and indictment -- Ramaswamy has never shied away from screaming about Biden's weaponisation of the Department of Justice, shutting down the FBI, and urging fellow Republican candidates in the presidential race to do the same.

And Trump has always returned the favour, calling Ramaswamy "smart guy" and a "very intelligent person", stopping short of giving him derisive nicknames like 'Birdbrain', the one he had for the second Indian-American candidate in the race, Nikki Haley.

While being asked on a TV show in September last year whether he was considering a "Vice President Vivek", Trump said: "Well, I think he's great. Look, anybody that said, I'm the best president in a generation... So I have to like a guy like that. You know, I can't get upset with him."

The most recent display of bonhomie -- and perhaps the biggest sign that Trump is considering Ramaswamy as his vice president -- was seen in Atkinson, New Hampshire, where he made his first campaign trail appearance with Ramaswamy after his recent Iowa victory.

"He's going to be working with us and he'll be working with us for a long time," Trump said in his victory speech, calling Ramaswamy a "special person" and congratulating him for doing "one hell of a job".

Following his eight-minute passionate speech endorsing Trump, the supporters greeted him with chants of "VP, VP".


According to political analysts, Trump is looking for a person who can swing the battleground states in his favour, and Ramaswamy, being an Indian-American, can play a key role here.

Often considered to be key players in these states, the impact of Indian-Americans was evident on the ballot box as they turned up in huge numbers to vote in the tightly-contested November 2020 presidential race.

Some 1.3 million Indian-Americans voted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin -- the states with no clear allegiances or leanings towards either of the two major parties in the US.

In addition, Ramaswamy's run for the Vice Presidency in 2024 can galvanise Indian-Americans to turn out to vote, just as it did for Biden and his Indian-origin running mate, Kamala Devi Harris, in 2020.

Nearly fifty per cent of voters from the community reportedly said that Harris' nomination as Vice President made them more enthusiastic about Joe Biden's candidacy in 2020.

After the two shared the stage in New Hampshire, an X user wrote: "They’re the complete opposite of Biden and Harris. Biden and Harris are destroying our nation, while Trump and Vivek will restore it to its former glory".


Like doesn't always attract like, as was seen when Trump slammed the "very sly" Ramaswamy in a blistering social media post on January 13, saying that a vote for him is a vote for the other side.

Calling the attack "friendly fire", Ramaswamy refused to criticise Trump but a day after, Trump's top aide, Jason Miller, said voters could “probably” rule out Ramaswamy as the ex-President’s running mate. “Pretty safe to say it won’t be Vivek,” he said.

During the early days of Ramaswamy's campaigning, Trump had warned the political newcomer that he was becoming "a little bit controversial", and asked him to "be a little bit careful" with what he says, especially on policy matters such as climate change and no birthright citizenship.


The Ohio native who stood at number four in polls for the Republican presidential nomination, led the 2024 campaign with a record 42 campaign stops in a week -- the highest among candidates.

Asserting that he is not a "Plan B person", Ramaswamy has rejected the idea or speculation of his joining the Trump cabinet in any official capacity if the former President retakes the White House from Joe Biden in 2024.

In an interview to Fox News in August 2023, the anti-woke crusader said that like Trump, he would not do well in a number two position.

"I'm not interested in a different position in the government. Frankly, I'd drive change through the private sector sooner than becoming a number 2 or a number 3 in the federal government," Ramaswamy had said.

(The content of this article is sourced from a news agency and has not been edited by the ap7am team.)

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