- Trump offered rare praise for a 2024 GOP rival.
- The former president said he was “pleased” to see entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy doing so well.
- A political newcomer, Ramaswamy performed very well in a recent poll.
Former President Donald Trump offered praise for conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy after the political newcomer polled even with former Vice President Mike Pence in a recent survey.
“I am pleased to see that Vivek Ramaswamy is doing so well in the most recent Republican Primary Poll, CBS YouGov,” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Trump has tried to elevate Ramaswamy ahead of his other current and potential challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis and Pence have yet to formally announce their campaigns, though both men are keeping the schedule of a soon-to-be candidate.
In the most recent CBS News/YouGov survey of likely Republican primary voters, Ramaswamy was even at 5% with Pence and slightly ahead of former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. If one takes into account the margin of error for that part of the poll, the trio is statistically tied.
While interesting, the close jockeying further down the list is overshadowed by Trump’s dominance. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump; his next closest challenger was DeSantis at 22%.
CBS/YouGov also took a slightly different approach to their poll.
It is important to note that it is also just one poll. Ramaswamy is not included on FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling average, which has Trump ahead of DeSantis by almost 30 percentage points. RealClearPolitics’ more raw average has Ramaswamy in fifth behind DeSantis, Pence, and Haley respectively.
In response to Trump’s praise, Ramaswamy senior adviser Tricia McLaughlin told Insider, “We’re 10 weeks in and just getting warmed up.”
The former president said Ramaswamy “has good things to say about ‘President Trump,’ and all that the Trump Administration has so successfully done,” which is not entirely true. Ramaswamy, who founded the biotech firm Roivant Sciences, has actually criticized multiple aspects of Trump’s record.
The 37-year-old previously told The New York Post that the former president didn’t use enough military force against Mexican drug cartels and should have done more to limit affirmative action. Like DeSantis, Ramaswamy has also swung at Trump for being too deferential to Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggesting that the then-president should have fired the nation’s top infectious disease doctor.
Ramaswamy has also praised Trump, telling The Post during the same interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference that Trump “sets a high bar.”
“He’s a friend. I know him. I genuinely believe he cares about national unity,” Ramaswamy said.
Still, Trump’s praise for Ramaswamy is a far cry from how he has treated his other 2024 challengers, including DeSantis.