Vivek Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotech entrepreneur and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, ripped former President Trump, the GOP frontrunner, over affirmative action, the border and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Post at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland’s National Harbor, Ramaswamy also targeted woke culture — and vowed to end government bloat by eliminating at least 10 federal agencies, including the FBI.
Trump “could have ended affirmative action with the stroke of a pen. He didn’t,” said Ramaswamy, 37, who has made repealing Executive Order 11246 a central tenant of his young campaign. The order, signed by President Johnson in 1965, and considered a pillar of the civil rights movement, mandates “race-based quotas” for government contractors, he said.
Trump also came up short at the border, he said.
“He had a chance to use military force against the cartels — didn’t do it,” Ramaswamy said, adding that he planned to send the U.S. military to the southern border to stem the flow of migrants and rein in murderous drug cartels now flooding the country with fentanyl.
“I would prioritize … the use of the US military to secure our border,” he said “That includes using the military to decimate the cartels, the way you would treat terrorists like Soleimani or Bin Laden.”
Ramaswamy — who is estimated to be worth $700 million — said Trump was also wrong for not reigning in Fauci, the nation’s de facto coronavirus czar.
“I think [Fauci] seized authority that no statute or the constitution gave him. I think he should have been fired,” Ramaswamy said.
Still, the tech mogul also had plenty of praise for the former president, who he insisted was “misunderstood.”
Trump “sets a high bar,” Ramaswamy said of the former president’s legacy. “He’s a friend. I know him. I genuinely believe he cares about national unity.”
Ramaswamy has made a splash in conservative circles with a slick web roll out and media blitz promising to dismantle the “woke agenda” and “climate religion.”
“The climate religion has about as much to do with the climate as the Spanish Inquisition had to do with Christ — which is to say nothing it all. It is about power, dominion, control, punishment and apologizing for what we have achieved in this country.”
“Both were just about exercising power and punishment,” he told a fired-up crowd at CPAC Friday evening.
He has previously promised to radically shrink the size of the federal government by abolishing the Department of Education through an executive order — and this week added the “politicized” FBI to the chopping block.
“I will shut it down and replace it with something new built from scratch to take its place,” he said.
As many as 10 other federal agencies, which he declined to name, would also be eliminated, he added.
The DOE, he continued, “has no reason to exist.”
“When you have thousands of people working in a bureaucracy that don’t actually have a purpose to serve they find things to do instead,” he warned.
He’s also promised to get tough on China and an early plank of his campaign has been to warn Americans of “short term pain” the country will have to endure to decouple itself from the Asian giant.
“We’ve gotten addicted to buying cheap stuff for a long time,” Ramaswamy said. “This relationship is destined to end and the only question is who ends it first.”
Ramaswamy is the son of immigrants from Kerala, India, he was his high school valedictorian and graduated Harvard College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to found Roivant Sciences, which creates companies targeted to create specific drugs. Among their products are Tapinarof, a plaque psoriasis treatment. He’s also the founder of Strive Asset Management.
He was mum on questions of fundraising or how much of his personal fortune he planned to spend in the race.
In addition to Trump, the field includes Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador. Also expected to join the fray are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
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