Another candidate is standing against former president Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election.
Multimillionaire startup founder and investor Vivek Ramaswamy threw his hat in the ring on Feb. 21, a week after former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stepped up to the plate.
Born to Indian parents in Cincinnati, Ramaswamy is a lesser-known figure in the world of politics—“a political outsider,” in his own words. Equipped with a biology degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale University, Ramaswamy in 2014 founded Roivant Sciences, a healthcare company that applies tech in drug development. In the following years, he pulled off remarkable biotech initial public offerings while helping to start other healthcare and technology companies.
But it’s not tech or business that dominated the 37-year-old Indian-American’s presidential announcement. In a video titled “The New American Dream,” the Ohio native claimed the nation is facing an identity crisis, pitting traditional values against “woke left” ideas.
Watch: Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential run 2024 announcement
Vivek Ramaswamy on America’s national identity crisis
“Faith, patriotism & family are disappearing. We embrace one secular religion after another—from wokeism to climatism—to satisfy our deeper need for meaning. Yet we cannot even answer what it means to be an American. The GOP can fill that void. E pluribus unum: from many, one. That is the dream that won the American Revolution; that reunited us after the Civil War, that won us two World Wars & the Cold War. That is the dream that still gives hope to the world. That is American exceptionalism.” -Vivek Ramaswamy
A non-exhaustive list of Ramaswamy’s agenda
🛂 Ramaswamy believes in “securing the border unapologetically and eliminating lottery-based immigration in favor of meritocratic admission,” according to his Feb. 21 Wall Street Journal op-ed.
🙇🏿 He plans to eliminate affirmative action across the American economy, including rescinding Lyndon B. Johnson’s Executive Order 11246 that mandates that federal contractors—which employ approximately 20% of the US workforce—adopt race-based hiring preference, and ordering the justice department to prosecute illegal race-based preferences.
🏛 He won’t hesitate to fire “unelected bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci or Merrick Garland” if they “reach beyond their legal scope.” He would also stop funding agencies “that waste money or have outlived their purpose” as well as ones “that can’t be reformed.” He’s also seeking 8-year-limits for all federal bureaucrats, like the one imposed on presidents.
🤬 He plans to fight government pressures on technology companies to censor disfavored political speech. “As Elon Musk did at Twitter, I will release the ‘state action files’ from the federal government—publicly exposing every known instance in which bureaucrats have wrongfully pressured companies to take constitutionally prohibited actions,” Ramaswamy wrote.
✊ “If you can’t fire someone for being black, gay or Muslim, you shouldn’t be able to fire someone for his political speech,” Ramaswamy said, vowing to work with Congress “to enshrine political expression as an American civil right.”
💵 Reject central bank digital currencies
🇨🇳 Fight the rise of China in more ways than one. How? Ramaswamy’s suggestions include:
- “Reclaim global energy leadership by rejecting the demands of a new climate religion that shackles the US and leaves China untouched.”
- “Achieve semiconductor self-sufficiency while vigorously protecting Taiwan.”
- “We should prohibit kids under 16 from using TikTok.”
- “Use financial levers to hold China accountable for spawning the covid-19 pandemic.”
- “Be willing to bar U.S. companies from expanding into China until its government abandons theft and other mercantilist tactics.”
Company of interest: Strive Asset Management
Like Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to jump into the race in the next few months, Ramaswamy is an ardent critic of corporate efforts related to diversity and sustainability. The author of Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam has called out ESG investments—based on environmental, social and corporate-governance principles—and even set up Strive Asset Management last year with backing from billionaire investor Peter Thiel, urging companies to prioritize ”excellence over politics.”
One big number: Ramaswamy’s $600 million net worth
According to Forbes, Ramaswamy’s net worth has been upwards of half a billion dollars since 2015. While the presidential candidate didn’t confirm his net worth to WSJ, he didn’t dispute the estimates either. Ramaswamy told WSJ he plans to put a significant amount of money from his fortune into the race, but didn’t specify an amount.
Will Ramaswamy help or hurt Donald Trump’s chances?
Billionaire investor and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has given his vote of confidence to Ramaswamy, suggesting the country is “ready” for him to win the whole thing while praising his “candor, acumen, discipline and energy.”
However, political analysts aren’t so confident. They think that having more candidates in the race will lead to support getting splintered, potentially helping incumbent Trump win with his army of loyal and established supporters, since the way delegates are assigned is skewed, especially in winner-take-all states like Florida. This becomes more likely should rumored contenders like DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence, and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo enter the race in the coming months.
✊ Nikki Haley is the first Republican candidate to challenge Trump’s 2024 presidential bid
🔥 What the asset manager backed by Peter Thiel gets wrong about climate change
🧬 Trump’s win had little to do with manufacturing, and everything to do with cultural identity