WASHINGTON: Indian-American presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy hit out at his party rivals for attacking him after his impressive performance in the first Republican primary presidential debate last week, saying the knives are out because he is surging ahead in the race for the White House.
Ramaswamy’s appearance on the debate stage was a coup for his campaign, given that he had no prior experience as an elected official and had never before appeared at such an event.
After the debate performance, Ramaswamy’s adversaries like former Vice President Mike pence, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie have begun to direct some of their public and private attacks toward the 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur.
“We are continuing to surge in the race and that means the knives are continuing to come out, so we’re going to keep debunking the myths as they come up because I think it’s important to be transparent and address criticisms,” Ramaswamy said in a social media post on Thursday.
“That’s part of what it means. If you can’t handle the heat, you stay out of the kitchen. I’m running for president of the United States. So, we’re going to address any of these criticisms as they come out,” said the entrepreneur-turned-presidential aspirant.
In his social media post, Ramaswamy went ahead to give his explanation of some of the criticism against him that has come out in the last few days.
“One is this funny, relatively old hack … that they’re pulling back out that I somehow made a lot of money off of some failed Alzheimer’s drug. Wrong! Actually, you know what is true is I did develop a drug for Alzheimer’s disease and like 99.7 per cent of drugs that have ever been tested for Alzheimer’s, thousands of other drugs, mine was one of the many that also didn’t work. That’s just a fact of life,” he said.
He said that he made money from the other drugs that his company developed – five of them – all of which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
He said he was proud of his accomplishments.
“That was part of how I had success in the world of biotech. That is how you actually create value and make money without apologising for it. What I teach young people across this country is, you know what? You’re going to go through hardship. Not everything you do is going to succeed, but hardship isn’t the same thing as victimhood. Hardship is what teaches you who you are,” he said.
Ramaswamy said another lie that is floating around is that he is somehow anti-Israel. “That’s just dead false and reflects the desperation of frankly, some other candidates who feel like their fundraising might be lagging, and so they need to figure out how to attack him as a way to raise funds,” he alleged.
“That’s what they seem to be doing. The fact of the matter is our relationship with Israel will be stronger by the end of my first term than it ever has been,” he said, noting that he had been to Israel several times and one of the founding investors in his company is actually an Israeli firm.
Later at a town hall in Iowa, Ramaswamy in response to a question said that he is not a party man.
“I’m not a party man. Actually, I’m using the Republican Party as a vehicle for advancing an America first agenda,” he said.
Ramaswamy said that if he is the nominee, as he hopes and expects to be, he will probably not face off with Joe Biden, the current US President.
“I don’t think they’re going to let him run against me…,” he said.
Ramaswamy said in many of the national polls he is placed in second position and he has already started thinking about picking people for his Cabinet.
“This is a matter of service of what we’re going to do for the next eight years for the country, and I do think we have an opportunity to do in 2024 what Ronald Reagan did for this country in 1980,” he said.