WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (PTI) Indian-American tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has launched his 2024 presidential bid with a promise to “put merit back” and end dependence on China, becoming the second community member to enter the Republican Party’s presidential primary after Nikki Haley.
Ramaswamy, 37, whose parents migrated to the United States from Kerala and worked at a General Electric plant in Ohio, announced his presidential bid on Tuesday during a live interview on Fox News’s prime time show of Tucker Carlson, a conservative political commentator.
He is the second Indian-American to enter the Republican presidential primary.
Earlier this month, two-term former governor of South Carolina and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley announced her presidential campaign. She announced that she will contest against her former boss and ex-US President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s nomination.
“We are in the middle of this national identity crisis where we have celebrated our differences for so long that we forgot all the ways we are really just the same as Americans bound by a common set of ideals that set this nation into motion 250 years ago,” Ramaswamy said.
He calls “wokeism” a national threat.
“Wokeism” is the promotion of liberal progressive ideology and policy as an expression of sensitivity to systemic injustices and prejudices.
“That’s why I am proud to say tonight that I am running for United States president to revive those ideals in this country,” he announced.
“I think we need to put ‘merit’ back into ‘America’ in every spirit of our lives,” he said, adding that he will end affirmative action in “every sphere of American life.”
A second-generation Indian-American, Ramaswamy founded Roivant Sciences in 2014 and led the largest biotech IPOs of 2015 and 2016, eventually culminating in successful clinical trials in multiple disease areas that led to FDA-approved products, according to his bio.
He has founded other successful healthcare and technology companies, and in 2022, he launched Strive Asset Management, a new firm focused on restoring the voices of everyday citizens in the American economy by leading companies to focus on excellence over politics.
“I’m all for putting America first, but in order to put America first, we have to first rediscover what America is. And to me, those are these basic rules of the road that set this nation into motion from meritocracy to free speech, to self-governance over aristocracy.
“The people who we elect actually make them run the government rather than this cancerous federal bureaucracy. That’s gonna be the heart of my message,” Ramaswamy told Fox News.
He said the US faces external threats like the rise of China.
It “has got to be our top foreign policy threat that we’ve gotta respond to, not pointless wars somewhere else.”
“That’s gonna require some sacrifice. It’s gonna require a declaration of independence from China and complete decoupling. And that’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna require some inconvenience,” he said.
Foreign policy is all about prioritisation, Ramaswamy said.
Before entering the presidential ballot, Ramaswamy and Haley have to win the Republican Party’s presidential primary which will start in January next year. The next US presidential election is scheduled to be held on November 5, 2024.
Ramaswamy is the fourth Indian-American to run for the White House.
Bobby Jindal ran in 2016 and Vice President Kamala Harris in 2020.