The entrepreneur has dropped out of the race after racking up less than eight per cent of the Iowa caucus vote. Ahead of the caucuses, the Republican candidate encouraged his followers to “stick it to the media and shock the world.”
His campaign seemingly hinged on providing shock value.
Mr Ramaswamy has promoted baseless, bombastic claims throughout his campaign.
The entrepreneur wondered aloud whether “federal agents” were on the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11. He labelled the January 6 Capitol riot an “inside job.” He called the “climate change agenda” a “hoax”. He claimed that the 2020 election was stolen by “big tech”. He referred to a sitting Congresswoman as a one of the “modern grand wizards” of the KKK.
Several of his campaign promises were also jarring.
Mr Ramaswamy proposed raising the voting age to 25. He proposed deporting the children of undocumented immigrants who were born on US soil. He proposed cutting the federal workforce by 75 per cent, including eliminating the FBI and the Department of Education.
Even the money he spent on the campaign trail was staggering.
The millionaire spent gobs of money throughout his campaign. The Washington Post reported that Mr Ramaswamy spent $4.6m on advertising by the end of December. Notably, at the beginning of that month, his campaign spent $200,000 on TV ads — but that amount dropped to just $6,000 by the month’s end, NBC News found.
But the turnout wasn’t shocking; Donald Trump proved to be the clear favourite in the nation’s first nominating contest. Mr Ramaswamy wasn’t shocking either when he announced his endorsement of the former president.
Mr Ramaswamy has long made it clear that he is a fan of the former president — and has demonstrably mimicked some of his campaign style.
The entrepreneur vowed to remove himself from the Colorado 2024 ballot after the state’s Supreme Court found Mr Trump ineligible for the presidency and ruled that he should be taken off the ballot.
Should he be elected, Mr Ramaswamy also promised to pardon the former president of any federal crimes “on day one” .
He even used the former president’s own phrasing — like “America First” — in his speeches.
But unlike Mr Trump, Mr Ramaswamy never had voter backing. Even at his peak popularity, according to FiveThirtyEight polling, he garnered 11 per cent of the vote; he recently has hovered around five per cent. His dismal caucus results ultimately did him in.
During his campaign suspension speech, the crestfallen conservative conceded: “We did not achieve the surprise that we wanted to deliver tonight.”
When he launched his campaign, Mr Ramaswamy declared: “We’re in the middle of a national identity crisis. Faith, patriotism and hard work have disappeared, only to be replaced by new secular religions like Covidism, climateism and gender ideology.”
Perhaps Mr Ramaswam’s campaign suffered an identity crisis of its own. Its flirtation with Trumpistic tactics may have confused voters. His steadfast support for the former president may have also squeezed out his own candidacy from the once-crowded GOP field.
It seems like Mr Ramaswamy’s failed venture to “shock” Americans has highlighted one point in particular: America doesn’t need another candidate to deliver shock value when it already has Donald Trump.