Looks like the MAGA tables are starting to turn against Republican presidential hopeful and frequent Trump defender Vivek Ramaswamy. This weekend, Donald Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social that “a vote for Vivek is a vote for the ‘other side.’”
Trump publicly targeted Ramaswamy for the first time on Saturday, claiming that he is “not MAGA” and that while the candidate “started his campaign as a great supporter… now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks.”
Until recently, Trump has lavished public and private praise on Ramaswamy, the former biotech executive who has branded himself as an admirer of the former president, promising to pardon him if elected. “Frankly, I will invite him as an advisor and mentor,” Ramaswamy said of Trump in August.
The former biotech executive had previously been so pro-Trump that at times it seemed he was running for a role in a second Trump administration, prompting the former president to joke privately in the spring, “Does he want a job?”
Trump’s anger may stem from a post on X, formerly Twitter, that Ramaswamy reposted Saturday afternoon. The post included a photo of himself with six Iowa supporters wearing t-shirts with Trump’s mugshot that read: “Save Trump. Vote Vivek.”
— Matt G (@nh03062) January 13, 2024
Within the hour, Trump wrote on Truth Social to warn his supporters not to get “duped” into voting for Ramaswamy: “Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the ‘other side’ — don’t get duped by this. Vote for ‘TRUMP,’ don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA.”
Ramswamy labeled the attack an “unfortunate move by [Trump’s] campaign advisors.”
“Donald Trump was the greatest President of the 21st century, and I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack,” he wrote in a lengthy post on X, adding, “I want to save Trump & to save this country. Let’s do it together. You won’t hear any friendly fire from me.”
Ramaswamy has perpetuated debunked conspiracy theories favored by Trump in recent weeks, such as the racist great replacement theory and claims that Jan. 6 was “an inside job.” He has argued that Republicans should vote for him instead of Trump because Joe Biden, prosecutors and Democrats in Congress (the “system”) will do everything they can to ensure Trump never comes to power again. “If you think they’re going to let this man get anywhere near the White House again, I want you to open your eyes,” Ramaswamy recently told a group of 20 Iowa voters, according to The New York Times.
Trump addressed this argument in his post bashing his opponent. “The Biden Indictments against his Political Opponent will never be allowed in this Country, they are already beginning to fall! MAGA!!!”
Trump advisers have told Rolling Stone that the former president previously refrained from attacking Ramaswamy because by boosting him, it’s a “total ratfuck” against his sworn rival and fellow candidate for the Republican nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. But with DeSantis struggling in the polls against both Trump’s commanding lead and Nikki Haley’s recent gains, Ramaswamy may be less useful to him.
According to two Rolling Stone sources who spoke to the former president about Ramaswamy this past spring, Trump said, “I’m not going to attack Vivek” unless he starts to attack Trump.
It seems that time has finally come on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.
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