Donald Trump has warned Republicans against voting for Vivek Ramaswamy after Ramaswamy said he was running in the Presidential race to protect Donald Trump. Trump wrote on his Truth Social media account that Mr. Ramaswamy started out as an ally to the former President, but this was dishonest. “Now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks,” Trump said.
He made the remarks as video footage emerged showing Ramaswamy speaking to a voter and stating that only he can remove the deep state that is persecuting Trump. Furthermore, images appeared on social media of Iowan voters wearing shirts at a Ramaswamy rally that stated, “Save Trump, vote Vivek.”
Trump warned his supporters, “Don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA.” Ramaswamy replied, saying, “I’m worried for Trump. I’m worried for our country,” and added that he would not criticize the former President’s remarks because “friendly fire” is not helpful.
Ramaswamy has referred to Trump as “wounded” on several occasions and is heard telling voters, “They don’t have on me what they have on him.” Some analysts suggest that Ramaswamy is trying to persuade voters that he has the same agenda as Trump but is better able to implement it.
As part of his retort to Trump’s attack, Ramaswamy detailed his pro-Trump credentials, but insisted that the “system” won’t allow him to become President again. He expanded on his belief that Nikki Haley is the system’s choice for President, and “they” want to reduce the election to a two-horse race between Trump and Haley. They will “eliminate Trump (one way or other), and trot their puppet into the White House,” he said.
As the Iowa caucuses got underway, polls showed that Haley has secured second place in many surveys, but is still far behind Donald Trump. A Morning Consult poll on January 13 placed Haley at 13%, with Ron DeSantis just behind at 12% and Donald Trump out in front at 69%.