Vivek Ramaswamy: The biotech entrepreneur provoked his opponents into fights that dominated the first Republican debate with his high energy, unrestrained confidence, and insults.
Vivek Ramaswamy 38-year-old first-time candidate who took center stage in the Republican primary debate on Wednesday stated, “First, let me address the question that is on everyone’s mind at home tonight.”
erstwhile governor of New Jersey Chris Christie soon pointed out that it was a reference to the erstwhile political prodigy Barack Obama and said, “I’m afraid we’re dealing with the same kind of amateur.”
But Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy, the first millennial Republican presidential contender, suddenly stated that he wasn’t going to leave the stage without making a statement. He entered the stage with a vengeance, criticizing his rivals and displaying scant respect for the more qualified contenders.
Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy began by saying, “I’m the only person on stage who isn’t bought and paid for, so I can say this,” before dubbing the “climate change agenda” a “hoax.” The businessman and podcast presenter used a shrewd seven-way shot that made it plain he planned to fight with everyone present and invited them to attack him in return.
He was able to trick almost all of his rivals into engaging in combat with him. Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy’s self-introduction appeared antiquated by morning. He distracted attention away from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and spoke more than anyone else, second only to former Vice President Mike Pence.
David Freedlander, a political commentator, commented on X, the website that replaced Twitter, “If you have wondered what Trumpism after Trump looks like, ask no further.”
In 2016, Donald J. Trump used his status as a novice into a rallying cry, and Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy did the same thing. He used it to criticize the political establishment he was challenging.
However, Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy set himself apart from the former president he is challenging but frequently supports in one very important aspect. He wanted potential voters to recognize his youth, enthusiasm, and did he say youth?
He pointedly mentioned his young children and said that voters should “hand it over to a new generation to actually fix the problem.” The USSR no longer exists, he later informed Mr. Pence. It happened in 1990,” as though attempting to explain the present day to Rip Van Winkle.
In response to a query regarding whether elder candidates should undergo a mental acuity test, Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy stated that the Republican Party needed “someone of a different generation to lead this nation forward.”
And just in case he hadn’t hammered his argument home by that moment, he opened his final remarks with, “I was born in 1985.”
All of this came after Mr. Ramaswamy released videos of himself performing burpees to T.I.’s “Bring ‘Em Out,” a party hit from 2004, when he was just a Harvard underclassman impersonating Eminem. He has said, in a reminder of his young legs, that he likes to hit with college players around the country while on the trail.
Mr. Ramaswamy’s opinions are significantly at odds with those of both his generation and the one after it, both of which lean Democratic. The only way the G.O.P. is recruiting any young people, according to Charlotte Alter, author of “The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leaders Will Transform America,” is on cultural war themes like anti-woke posturing and contrarian hot takes. And that is where Vivek has set up shop.
Even though Mr. Ramaswamy couldn’t get anyone to pronounce his name correctly, he was successful in one respect. Vivek loves to describe himself as “like cake,” as the phrase goes. Even though other candidates, most notably Mr. DeSantis, 44, and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, 51, cast themselves as the younger generation of Republicans, Mr. Ramaswamy’s portrayal as young and energetic emerged as one of the debate’s recurrent themes.
The other candidates took turns pointing out his lack of experience. Mr. Christie compared Mr. Ramaswamy to “ChatGPT standing up here,” implying that he spewed out quick responses that weren’t always coherent.
Ms. Haley informed Mr. Ramaswamy, “You have no experience in foreign policy, and it shows.”
Perhaps the loudest round of applause she had heard all evening was given to her.