Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is back in the Hawkeye State this weekend for several campaign stops, just as his star appears to be rising in the GOP nomination chase.
The Ohio businessman and anti-woke crusader that former President Donald Trump has billed as “young Vivek Ramaswamy” will barnstorm western Iowa in a three-day, three-county tour beginning Friday evening with a town hall in Mills County. The event, sponsored by the Mills County Republican Party, begins at 7 p.m. at Bodega Victoriana Winery & Wedding Barn in Glenwood.
Ramaswamy will be joined by Kathy Barnette, who lost to Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s 2022 Republican primary for U.S. Senate — a seat narrowly won by Democrat John Fetterman.
Mills County Republicans were also set to welcome Republican businessman and presidential candidate Perry Johnson Thursday evening in Malvern.
“Election year 2024 is around the corner and candidates are already visiting Iowa,” the party’s Facebook page states. “We are very excited and grateful to welcome Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to Mills County. This will be a town hall, so bring your questions.”
On Saturday, Ramaswamy will attend the Pottawattamie County Republican Party’s Absentee Ballot Training session, beginning at 10 a.m. in Treynor, followed by a meet and greet at noon at Bella Sera Restaurant in Denison. He’s scheduled to meet with a Pottawattamie County livestock breeder and attend a house party Saturday evening, as well.
On Sunday, the candidate will attend the Crawford County Rally for Life, slated for 2 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Denison.
Ramaswamy is back in Iowa more than a month after launching his campaign for the White House. The author of Woke Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam, was in the critical first-in-the-nation caucus state two days after announcing his bid. His main message: America has an “identity crisis.”
“We have this hunger for meaning at a moment when faith, patriotism and family, these things have disappeared in American life,” Ramaswamy told a group of business and community leaders in Ankeny last month. “That leaves a black hole of a void at the heart of our country, and when you have a vacuum that runs that deep, that is when poison begins to fill the void.”
Ramaswamy made headlines last week after coming to the defense of the former president and fellow presidential contender Trump. Trump wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform, that he expected to be arrested this week in connection with the years-long, politically tinged investigation into Trump’s alleged hush money scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels. Ramaswamy in a tweet wrote an indictment would be a “national disaster.”
“I call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in service of preserving our Constitutional republic,” he wrote.
“Prosecutors should apply the same standards as they would to anyone else: this wouldn’t have been a criminal prosecution in any other case (a misdemeanor at most). No doubt about it,” Ramaswamy added. “Our entire country is skating on thin ice right now & we cannot afford to politicize the justice system or else we will reach our breaking point.”
The 37-year-old Ramaswamy received a backhanded compliment from Trump, who was really going after chief GOP presidential nominee rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — “Ron DeSantimonious”, as Trump like to call him. DeSantis took a nuanced shot at Trump about the whole Stormy Daniels affair, and Trump responded by attacking the governor’s drop in recent polls.
“Ron DeSanctimonious is dropping in the Polls so fast that he soon may be falling behind young Vivek Ramaswamy,” Trump wrote on his social network platform.
Time Magazine, not known for courtesy to conservatives, wrote that Ramaswamy’s decision to come to Trump’s defense “may be this week’s smartest move.” The publication’s D.C. Brief, in attacking conservatives who support Trump, called Ramaswamy’s tweet a “piece of political gamesmanship that belies his inexperience in the chase.”
“[S]idling up with Trump and his professed victimhood of a politically motivated prosecutor is as smart a way to get an advantage at a moment when Trumpists are looking at every move in the 2024 field as a loyalty test,” the column asserts. “A bankshot blessing from Trump is about as good as an advantage as anyone running so far has enjoyed.”
While he may be lagging in the polls, Ramaswamy appears to be beating fundraising expectations. In the month since launching his campaign, the candidate has taken in donations from more than 10,000 individual contributors, with nearly a third first-time political digital donors, Fox News reported.
“First-time donors to the party are off the charts for us,” Ramaswamy said. “I’m told that it’s supposed to be in the low single digits in terms of percentage of first-time donors to the GOP.”
“This is just organic…I think there’s something unique going on,” Ramaswamy said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “This sort of takes a sledgehammer to the roof of expectations of what we were supposed to do in the first month, which is great.”
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” byVivek Ramaswamy. Background Photo “Bodega Victoriana Winery and Wedding Barn” by Bodega Victoriana Winery and Wedding Barn.