Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy stands out in Republican debate
Throughout the first 2024 GOP debate, Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy, the youngest Presidential candidate from the Republican Party, was the target of criticism from some his fellow candidates. Nevertheless, he said he took those comments as a “badge of honour,” CNN reported.
He also made his presence in the debate, engaging in a number of heated exchanges with his fellow Republicans.
"As the 38-year-old outsider in this race who's never been in a political debate to be at center stage and see a lot of established politicians that threatened by my rise, I am thrilled," he told CNN.
In his opening comments of the debate, he said, “First, let me just address a question that is on everybody’s mind at home tonight: Who the heck is this skinny guy with a funny last name and what the heck is he doing in the middle of this debate stage?
He added that “it’s going to take an outsider” to lead the Republican Party. Ramaswamy also hit back again at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who slammed him for having "no foreign policy experience."
"I do think that I am the only person bringing clear strategic vision to our foreign policy rather than just going through the talking points memorized in 1990," he told CNN.
If elected as president, Ramaswamy said that he would “honour” US’ treaty commitments if Russia invades a NATO ally, but also stated that Russia would not do so “under my watch.”
Ramaswamy also pledged to end the war in Ukraine "on terms that are backstopped by US interests."
He has also promised to cut down on government bureaucracy if elected, saying he would shut down the “administrative state” and shut down the FBI by shifting the bureau’s law enforcement agents into other government departments, according to CNN.
Ramaswamy is a native of southwest Ohio. His mother was a geriatric psychiatrist and his father worked as an engineer at General Electric.
Born on August 9, 1985, the Presidential hopeful was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio after his parents migrated to the US from Kerala.
He attended Harvard University for his graduation and later got a law degree from Yale University.
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 posted on his website.
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.
He is the third Indian-American — along with Nikki Haley and Hirsh Vardhan Singh — who will be up against former President Donald Trump in the primaries in January next year.
Ramaswamy is married to Apoorva Tewari Ramaswamy, an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.