Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was asked on Fox News to explain “the point” of his 2024 campaign, and to respond to complaints that he is “annoying.”
“President Trump has widened his commanding lead ― I mean, at 60% now,” Fox News anchor Shannon Bream told the biotech entrepreneur in an interview Sunday. “Many analysts say everybody else is just sort of playing for second place. You’ve said you would not accept the vice presidential spot. So what’s the point of your campaign now?”
Ramaswamy said he wants to take the “America First agenda even further than Donald Trump did” and reunite the country.
“I can’t do that from a number two position or a Cabinet role,” he said.
Bream noted that even as Ramaswamy’s national profile is growing, “our polling also shows your unfavorables are up.”
“One recent opinion piece puts it this way: ‘Of all the descriptors attached to Vivek Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old political tyro enjoying a bizarre surge in the Republican primary race for second place, the most common one seems to be annoying,’” she said, citing an Aug. 28 New York Times piece by Michelle Goldberg.
Ramaswamy brushed it off, arguing that “many people are annoyed by my rise and believe that a 38-year-old is too young to be U.S. president.”
“Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he wrote the U.S. Declaration of Independence,” he said. “He also invented the swivel chair while he was at it, by the way.”
Goldberg’s Times piece, titled “Vivek Ramaswamy Is Very Annoying. It’s Why He’s Surging in the Polls,” highlighted quotes from several political commentators.
CNN’s S.E. Cupp called Ramaswamy “Obnoxious. Annoying. Disrespectful. Inexperienced. Conspiratorial.” A Republican strategist told Politico the candidate’s shtick “got to be annoying” during the first GOP primary debate. And Josh Barro, a writer who attended Harvard at the same time as Ramaswamy, published “an investigation” into “what makes Vivek so annoying.”
Ramaswamy’s extreme and unconventional views, his out-there persona and his resolute support of former President Donald Trump have seen him surge to unexpected prominence in the primary race, outpacing many political veterans.
He’s placed third behind Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in many polls.
Trump, who leads the pack by an enormous margin, has praised the younger candidate and said he’s open to considering him as a running mate. Ramaswamy, however, has said he’s not interested.