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December 6, 2023

Vivek Ramaswamy sharpens criticism of GOP rivals — and the RNC

Vivek Ramaswamy sharpens criticism of GOP rivals — and the RNC

Vivek Ramaswamy, who has a super PAC, often calls his GOP rivals “super PAC puppets” and claims they are “bought and paid for.” Now he’s targeting another group, too: the Republican National Committee. 

Ramaswamy has been taking aim at the political party he is affiliated with more sharply in recent weeks, including after a contentious interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. 

During a recent town hall event in New Hampshire, Ramaswamy was asked what went wrong during the interview where Hannity cut him off for comments he made during a sit-down with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on X. Ramaswamy had said former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley “is somebody who is, like many politicians, in a position to get wealthier from war.”

“A lot of people don’t think you’re qualified because you weren’t even a Republican or voting Republican until what, 2020?” Hannity remarked.

“I voted Republican in 2020,” Ramaswamy responded. “You’re right. I’m not a partisan hack.”

In response to the voter question about the exchange, Ramaswamy went on a rant about what he sees wrong with “the broken system.”

“They’re trying every means of stopping me from speaking,” Ramaswamy said, referencing the aborted Fox News conversation he was set to have with former New Jersey Gov. Chris and Fox News host Bret Baier. The RNC warned them that if they appeared together, they would be disqualified from participating in subsequent committee-sanctioned debates, according to the rules Ramaswamy agreed to when he signed up for the RNC’s debates. 

Ramaswamy has also recently amped up his criticism of super PACs, calling them “a cancer on American politics and the Republican Party” in a post on X. 

“They [super PACs] need politicians to dance to their tune. And here I’m running against Trump in this race, no doubt, but what I will say is, here’s why they came for him. He didn’t want to play that game” Ramaswamy said during a campaign event held in Hampton, New Hampshire on Saturday. 

“Now the question for us in the Republican Party is, I’m in this to take our America First movement to the next level to move our country forward, but I am an outsider who’s not playing by the rules of the donor establishment and the system,” Ramaswamy said. “And so they’re having the immune response to me that they did to him [Trump] in 2016.”

This week, Ramaswamy appeared on The Young Turks, calling his competitors “circus monkeys.”

“I think that the people who are running in the Republican primary whose money is principally funded by super PACs are really just vessels for their super PACs,” name-checking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Haley and Sen. Tim Scott.

Ramaswamy dug into his rivals again In a campaign email Monday.

But Ramaswamy has his own supportive super PAC: American Exceptionalism PAC, which has spent $3.2 million on advertising in the 2024 race so far, according to a recent Federal Election Commission filing.

The name of the PAC dovetails with a regular mention in most of Ramaswamy’s campaign speeches, where he says “American Exceptionalism is real” when preaching to voters. 

Ramaswamy has said he’d call on his super PAC to back down if his rivals did the same.

“I think that the Republican Party has an opportunity to lead the way here,” Ramaswamy said. “Unfortunately, the other candidates, I’m hearing nothing other than pin-drop silence and joining me on that call.” 

Ramaswamy has pumped more than $15 million of his own money into his campaign.

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