Vivek Ramaswamy Ends Campaign Following Fourth-Place Finish in Iowa

38-year-old entrepreneur guaranteed he'd 'stay in this race through November' prior to poor caucus showing

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January 16, 2024

Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the Republican presidential primary race on Monday after coming in at a distant fourth place in the Iowa caucuses.

Ramaswamy announced his decision in a speech late Monday evening, telling his supporters there was "no path for me to be the next president absent things that we don't want to see happen in this country."

But he also promised he was "not going anywhere" and would continue his political activism beyond the election.

The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur received roughly 7 percent of the vote in the Iowa contest, well behind former president Donald Trump's 51 percent, Florida governor Ron DeSantis's  21 percent, and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley's 19 percent. Hours before voting started in the Hawkeye State, Ramaswamy guaranteed he would "stay in this race through November."

His exit comes days after Trump slammed him as a "fraud." Ramaswamy has spent the race praising Trump and marketing himself as the future of the "America First" movement.

Ramaswamy's departure caps off a tumultuous campaign in which the candidate courted controversy with his isolationist positions on U.S. national security and opposition to American military support for Israel.

He also had a notoriously testy relationship with the press and banned the Washington Free Beacon from talking to him last year in retaliation for a story he viewed as unflattering. The Free Beacon continued to cover his campaign.

Ramaswamy enjoyed a brief rise in the polls over the summer, reaching third place in the race behind Trump and DeSantis before sinking back down into a far-off fourth.

He drew criticism in June for his opposition to U.S. military aid to Israel, a position that was first reported by the Free Beacon but which shifted several times over the summer.

In October, Ramaswamy said he opposed U.S. funding to support Israel’s military operations in Gaza. He also criticized Republicans for their "selective moral outrage" at the mass terrorist attacks in Israel and argued that politicians calling for a stronger military response against Hamas and Iran are driven by donor money.

In September, the candidate appeared on a podcast hosted by an anti-Semitic YouTuber who has accused Jews of having "dual loyalty" and claimed that Zionists "worship the nation of Israel over America and are willing to infringe on their own country's values to serve that agenda."

During the GOP debates, Ramaswamy drew media attention for his combative style and personal attacks on fellow candidates, even as his poll numbers continued to drop. He also accused the government of withholding truths about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and orchestrating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Ramaswamy’s departure comes one week before the Republican primary in New Hampshire. In September, Ramaswamy stood by his New Hampshire campaign chairman who questioned whether terrorists actually flew planes into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.