Washington, Jan 16 (IANS) Indian-American tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy announced that he is dropping out of the 2024 Republican presidential race, and endorsed former US President Donald Trump who won the crucial Iowa caucuses.
The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur told his supporters on Monday night that he is ending campaign after a dismal finish in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses.
The political newbie and the youngest candidate in the presidential race was trailing on the distant fourth spot with seven per cent of the votes counted.
“As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign. Earlier tonight I called Donald Trump to tell him that I congratulate him on his victory, and now going forward, you will have my full endorsement for the presidency,” The Hill reported Ramaswamy as saying.
Trump, America’s twice-impeached former president facing more than 90 criminal charges, emerged triumphant in Iowa, solidifying his position as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
The Republican frontrunner, who has always praised Ramaswamy as a “smart guy” and a “very intelligent person”, recently slammed the political newcomer as “very sly” and asked voters not get “duped” by his “deceitful campaign tricks”.
Ramaswamy said he is not going to criticise Trump in response to his attack, which he called a “friendly fire”.
Asserting that he is not a “Plan B person”, Ramaswamy has ruled out the possibility of him being the Vice President, saying he would not do well in a number two position in August last year.
The exit of the anti-woke crusader, who launched his campaign bid in February 2023, comes not long after former New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced he was dropping his White House bid.
Huge Gurdon, editor-in-chief of conservative publication Washington Examiner, wrote that every presidential election throws up an “interesting candidate” who is “evidently intelligent, highly unconventional, and less like any of the others than they are like each other”.
And Ramaswamy had become the “interesting candidate” of the 2024 election cycle.
Born to immigrant parents from India, he made millions as a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and wrote a book slamming woke to test the waters for a plunge into politics.
He was clearly the star of the first Republican debate as he forced himself into most of the conversation, which included sharp jabs from Christie, who said he sounded like ChatGPT.
Fellow Indian-American and Republican rival, Nikki Haley, called him a “scum” for bringing up her daughter’s reference in a debate on TikTok.
She also said that Ramaswamy has “no foreign policy experience and it shows”.