Vivek Ramaswamy dismisses critic's claim he isn't serious about running for president

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    Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy rejected a conservative commentator’s claim that the former businessman doesn’t actually want to win the White House and instead is just aiming to boost his profile.

    “I’m running to be president of the United States,” Ramaswamy reasserted during an interview with Fox News. “It’s a big sacrifice to make.”

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    Charles Cooke, a senior writer for National Review, argued earlier this month that Ramaswamy was not “really running for president.” Cooke explained that Ramaswamy saw that there was no downside to running for president and that even a loss would provide bigger name recognition and increased media and offer more financial opportunities, like large book advances and higher speaking fees.

    “He hasn’t really given up his job; he’s transitioned into another one,” Cooke wrote. “He’s not really thinking about what it means to be an American; he’s building a ginormous mailing list.”

    Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy

    Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks to guests at the 2023 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Indianapolis. (Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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    Ramaswamy rejected that argument. He said he never met Cooke and that the writer was misinformed.

    “I don’t know how he thought he was going to get in my head, but I actually didn’t even read beyond the first couple of paragraphs of it because it was behind a paywall,” Ramaswamy said. “And the quality of that journalism beforehand suggested I didn’t need to read the rest.”

    “I’ve got two kids, three years old, nine months old,” he continued. “To embark on a campaign like this, to put an eight-figure sum of my hard-earned money to this, we don’t take this lightly.”

    Ramaswamy was the founder and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Roivant Science. He stepped down in 2021 and published “Woke, Inc,” a book that makes the case for getting politics out of corporate America.

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    The candidate, who launched his bid in February, said he’s running because he believes the U.S. has a “national identity crisis.”

    “I want to actually pass on the country that allowed me to achieve what I have to the next generation, to my kids’ generation,” he said. “I see a leadership vacuum in the country, even in the conservative movement of filling that void of identity with a positive vision.”

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    Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy takes questions at a town hall style campaign event, on Feb. 22, 2023 in Manchester, New Hampshire (Fox News )

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    “I’m pretty convinced if I had been born 20 years later, I don’t think my story would have been possible,” Ramaswamy, 37, continued. “Not in the same way I would have been taught to think of myself as a victim rather than somebody who learns how to win.”

    In the article, Cooke also accuses Ramaswamy of running as former President “Donald Trump’s obsequious press secretary.”

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    Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy is hoping to separate himself from Republicans who have or have yet to jump into the GOP race including former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. (Getty Images)

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    “Vivek Ramaswamy seems set to become the first contender for president in American history whose approach to the race is to sell the virtues of the front-runner better than the front-runner can himself,” Cooke wrote.

    Both in his campaign speeches and in an interview with Fox News, Ramaswamy said he is embracing the former president’s “America First” philosophy, but hopes to take that agenda “further than Donald Trump ever did.”

    “America First does not belong to Donald Trump or to Ron DeSantis or to me,” Ramaswamy said. “It belongs to the people of this country.”

    Click here to hear more of Ramaswamy’s response.

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