Vivek Ramaswamy exits presidential race after Iowa result

Vivek Ramaswamy

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign to become the Republican candidate for the US presidency in the 2024 election has been suspended after a disappointing result in the Iowa caucuses.

The 38-year-old former hedge fund manager and founder of Roivant and its entourage of ‘vant spin-off companies conceded defeat after admitting his campaign had “not achieved the surprise that we wanted to deliver” and pledged his support to Donald Trump.

“As I’ve said since the beginning, there are two ‘America First’ candidates in this race, and earlier tonight I called Donald Trump to tell him that I congratulate him on his victory and now, going forward, he will have my full endorsement for the presidency,” said Ramaswamy.

He also confirmed he would now be campaigning for Trump and will travel to New Hampshire to do so ahead of the state’s primary next week.

Trump stormed to victory in the Iowa caucuses – the first major test of the 2024 campaign – consolidating his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, well ahead of closest rivals Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Ramaswamy had performed well in early debates during the race, likely at least in part because he aligned himself very closely with Trump. He campaigned on an ‘anti-woke’ platform and arguing that a “culture of fear has completely replaced a culture of free speech in America.”

Among his policies were a crackdown on migration, the end of affirmative action or positive discrimination, tackling climate ‘religion’ and embracing fossil fuels and nuclear, a stronger stance on China, and a ban on social media for the under-16s.

Almost immediately after the news of his campaign’s suspension emerged, speculation began about the possibility of Trump selecting Ramaswamy as a running mate and Vice President candidate, and Ramaswamy’s chances of trying again in 2028.

The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, had this to say of the Iowa result and his decision to step back from the race:

“We didn’t think this was possible, but the entire Republican Party is worse for Vivek Ramaswamy having run for office,” said NC spokesperson Sarafina Chitika.

“Ramaswamy spent his entire campaign promoting unhinged conspiracy theories, so, it’s no surprise that he is using his last gasp of relevance to back Donald Trump. Voters will make it clear that Ramaswamy’s extreme views are a loser in the general election – just like Trump’s.”

The DNC also said that another Trump presidency “poses a grave threat to our democracy, our freedoms, and the progress we’ve achieved over the last three years. We must fight back.”