Republican presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy said on Sunday that while he expects to become the party’s nominee for the November 2024 US elections, but will vote for Donald Trump if the former president secures the nomination.
Appearing on a Sunday talk show, the 38-year-old Indian American entrepreneur also expressed his intention to pardon Trump, who currently faces an array of legal challenges, should he be elected as President of the United States.
“If Donald Trump’s the nominee — yes, I will support him, and if I’m the president, yes, I will pardon him because that will help reunite the country. But it’s not the most important thing I’m going to do as the next president. It is the table stakes for moving this country forward,” Ramaswamy told ABC News.
Following his impressive performance in the inaugural Republican primary presidential debate last month, Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur-turned-politician, has experienced a surge in popularity, competing alongside fellow Indian American rival Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina.
Ramaswamy is notably the sole Republican presidential hopeful to openly endorse Trump, who is facing multiple charges and is currently out on bail, and his ‘America First’ policies, including stances on issues like climate change.
“My bottom line is that I will vote for the person who I think is best positioned to move this country forward. I do not think that’s Joe Biden. I do not think that is whichever other puppet, Kamala Harris or anybody else, that they roll out after Joe Biden,” he said.
Ramaswamy said while he may have disagreements with several of his Republican counterparts on various issues, he firmly believes that any of them would be more effective than Biden or Harris in steering the US towards progress.
“That is my arbitrator when I cast my vote for who the next president is — who’s going to serve the interests of the American people? That’s not some sort of commitment driven by vengeance or grievance. It is driven by a commitment to our purpose as citizens of this country.
“That’s what we need to revive in the United States, our civic spirit, remembering that even the ‘America First’ movement is bigger than Donald Trump. It is bigger than me. It is bigger than one political candidate,” he said.
Ramaswamy said the ‘America First’ movement belongs to the people of the US, the same people who still retain the power to elect their next president, and he aims to preserve this system rather than see it replaced by a federal police state determining the nation’s leadership, “and I stand by that without apology”.
Ramaswamy said he is in the US presidential race because he expects to be the Republican nominee and lead the country forward.
The Indian American candidate reiterated his opinion that many of the charges against Trump are politically motivated that set a detrimental precedent for the United States.
“I do not want to see us become a banana republic where the administrative police state uses police force to eliminate opponents from competition. That’s not the way it works,” he said.