In a surprising turn of events, Vivek Ramaswamy has officially announced his decision to withdraw from the 2024 GOP presidential race on Monday night, following a disappointing performance in the Iowa caucuses. Ramaswamy, the first GOP millennial to seek the Republican presidential nomination, made the announcement during a speech to supporters in Iowa.
“As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign,” Ramaswamy declared, acknowledging the challenges his campaign faced. He went on to endorse former President Donald Trump, marking a strategic move to consolidate support behind a single “America First” candidate as Trump continues to dominate the primary field.
“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,” Ramaswamy stated, despite an attendee interjecting with a plea for him not to do so.
Ramaswamy’s decision to exit the race comes in the wake of other notable departures, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and earlier decisions by Sen. Tim Scott and former Vice President Pence.
Despite initially being seen as a longshot candidate with little name recognition when he launched in February 2023, Ramaswamy did show modest signs of momentum during the primary. However, he struggled to gain traction against strong contenders like Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Critics pointed to Ramaswamy’s lack of political experience and raised concerns about his foreign policy stances, particularly regarding Israel and Taiwan. His proposals, such as negotiating an “Abraham Accords 2.0” for Israel and suggesting a shift in the U.S. commitment to Taiwan after achieving semiconductor independence, drew heat from rivals and experts alike.
During the first GOP debate, Nikki Haley criticized Ramaswamy directly, stating, “You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows.”
Ramaswamy’s endorsement of Trump, despite previous support and a pledge circulating during his candidacy, adds another layer of intrigue to the evolving dynamics of the 2024 GOP presidential race. The move signals a strategic effort to consolidate support behind a candidate with proven appeal within the party, as the field narrows further.