Once upon a time, a teenage Vivek Ramaswamy took Al Sharpton to task for his lack of political experience. Now, a viral video of the exchange has turned the tables on the Republican hopeful. Here is the full story.
By most accounts, Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy slayed the field at the first Republican debate in the 2024 Presidential campaign season.
Standing on stage with the likes of Ron Desantis, Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley, Ramaswamy stood out like a sore thumb. And it wasn’t just because the U.S. has seldom seen Indian-heritage candidates at this level.
No, Ramaswamy was different from all the other Republican candidates on the debate stage because he was an outsider.
Ivy-League Educated Businessman
The son of Indian immigrants, Ramaswamy grew up in Ohio and then moved on to Harvard and Yale for his education. Since then, he’s made a personal fortune in biotech.
But for all of the 38-year-old’s accomplishments in his short life, one thing Ramaswamy has never done is hold office.
Heck, Ramaswamy had never even run for any kind of office before declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination in February of 2023.
Attacking “Woke” Ideas
But at least as far back as 2021, Ramaswamy started to make political waves. That’s when he published his book, titled Woke Inc.
In that book, Ramaswamy outlined the kind of hardline, old-school Republican ideology that won Donald Trump so much love in 2015 and 2016.
Attacking everything from climate change science to the global push for diversity, Ramaswamy called for a throwback to the 1980s and a restoration of deep conservative values.
He ‘Rocked the Boat’
That stance hit mainstream readers like a slap in the face and landed Ramaswamy plenty of airtime on political talk shows, particularly through conservative outlets like Fox News.
But even though Ramaswamy rocked the boat and made Republican hearts swell with his call for a return to traditional values, he was still a political outsider.
He still is an outsider, in fact, and that’s one of the reasons that voters find Ramaswamy so intriguing. For Republicans looking for a new savior, he’s like a young Donald Trump without all the baggage.
His Past Comes to Light
It’s ironic, then, that the very quality that makes Ramaswamy so appealing is also the one that made him look like a hypocrite when the truth about his past came to light.
As often happens with new celebrities, all sorts of information and media snippets related to Ramaswamy have been coming out of the woodwork in recent weeks.
Recently, an ancient video showing a teenage Ramaswamy at a Democrat town hall before the 2004 election called into question his qualifications.
Least Political Experience
In the video, which went viral the last week of August, Ramaswamy is seen taking Democrat Presidential candidate Al Sharpton to task for having no political experience.
“Of all the Democratic candidates out there, why should I vote for the one with the least political experience?” Ramaswamy asked the good reverend.
Sharpton pointed out that he actually had the most experience, then rattled off a list of his political activities over the years. But the real bombshell was Ramaswamy’s question itself.
Changing His Tune
If young Ramaswamy was so convinced that his politicians needed experience to do the job right, why has his tune changed now?
For his part, Ramaswamy said that Sharpton’s answer struck a nerve with him. “Don’t confuse people that have a job with political experience,” Sharpton said, then railed on George W. Bush.
Now, it seems Ramaswamy is hoping to make that same sort of case to the American people. He may not hold office now, but the newcomer is sure he knows how to run the most powerful nation in the world.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aaron of L.A. Photography