It’s spelled “Vivek” – but is pronounced Viv-AKE. “Like cake,” he says. And if you are a Republican voter in an early primary state, you might want to start practicing how to say it …
Vivek Ramaswamy – the man with the oft-mispronounced moniker – sat down with me during his most recent visit to “First in the South” Carolina, one of the early-voting states which will determine whether his nascent presidential bid is climactic or Quixotic. Billing himself as the chief executive officer of “anti-woke” America, Ramaswamy is brimming with confidence in the ability of his candidacy to effectuate a “national revival” – one capable of reversing what he has dubbed the “psychological slavery” of our nation’s “woke industrial complex.”
“We’re in the middle – in the thick – of national self-doubt, in the thick of this identity crises where much of the country can’t even answer what it means to be an American,” Ramaswamy told me.
On the flip side of that coin, however, he described a coursing undercurrent of silenced discourse – one in which those holding certain strongly held convictions have found their views dismissed, devalued and demonized.
“People are hungry to express themselves, people are hungry to speak freely,” Ramaswamy said. “Yet there’s this gap between what people are willing to say in private and what they’re willing to say in public. In this campaign, one of the things I’m already doing is speaking the hard truth – (saying) the things that people think they’re not allowed to say in public.”
“We’re trying to give people the courage to speak freely,” Ramaswamy said. “And that’s the first step to that national revival.”
Another key step? “Dismantling the administrative state,” something Ramaswamy told me no other GOP contender is prepared to do.
“These professional politicians aren’t going to get it done,” he said. “If they would’ve, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Born in Cincinnati, Ramaswamy was valedictorian of his local Jesuit high school. He went on to graduate from Harvard (summa cum laude undergraduate) and Yale (law school). From there, the 37-year-old entrepreneur has built a business empire as a pharmaceutical executive and investor. That empire is now based in Columbus, Ohio – where Ramaswamy lives with his wife and two young children.
Ramaswamy has amassed a net worth of more than $630 million – and he told me this week he is not afraid to tap into that fortune to advance his presidential prospects.
“There’s no cap of what sacrifice and what investment our family is gonna make in this both in terms of time, money or anything else,” Ramaswamy said.
(Click to view)
Despite being in the race for just two months, Ramaswamy said he is already “flat with Nikki Haley with half the name ID and twice the money in the bank.”
Speaking of the former South Carolina governor, Ramaswamy had some choice words for her recent courtship of Disney – which saw her vilified (again) by the conservative base for attempting to lure the woke corporate giant to her home state.
“I think she was off base,” Ramaswamy said. “I don’t think it’s particularly helpful in our national or cultural revival for Nikki Haley to step in and say ‘hey, why don’t you come over to South Carolina.’ I don’t think too many people in the Palmetto State are going to be thrilled with that.”
Ramaswamy also had some interesting remarks on Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who at the moment is the only prospective GOP candidate polling within potential striking distance of former U.S. president Donald Trump. What did he have to say about DeSantis? And Trump? And what sort of policy specifics did he attach to his lofty rhetoric?
To watch the full interview, click here …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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