Ramaswamy praises himself for grilling Sharpton in 2004 race
Vivek Ramaswamy gave himself a “pat-on-the-back” for grilling Rev. Al Sharpton over his lack of elected experience in a newly resurfaced video of a campaign town hall during the 2004 presidential primary race.
The upstart Republican presidential candidate Monday night said he did the right thing by asking why the civil rights leader deserved his vote over more seasoned Democratic opponents Sen. John Kerry and Sen. John Edwards.
“I’ll give the 18-year-old version of myself a pat-on-the-back,” Ramaswamy tweeted. “20 years later, it’s funny how the tables have turned.”
Ramaswamy’s response came after MSNBC dug up the clip of the October 2003 town hall featuring college student Ramaswamy asking a question of Sharpton.
Sounding like a committed Democrat, Ramaswamy asked why he should vote for the candidate “with the least political experience.”
Sharpton turned aside the implicit criticism from Ramaswamy, then a Harvard University student, by claiming that he had more experience in political movements than any of his opponents, including then-President George W. Bush.
The youthful Ramaswamy smiled widely at Sharpton’s quick-thinking response.
In his tweet, he took credit for “eliciting the most sensible words ever to come from that man’s mouth.”
Like Sharpton in the 2004 race, Ramaswamy is running as a political outsider, albeit one who largely agrees with frontrunner former President Donald Trump.
Ramaswamy slammed all seven of his opponents in last week’s Republican debate as being “bought and paid for” apparently by virtue of serving in various elected offices.
Sharpton, however, was a very well-known public figure, for better or worse, when he ran in the 2004 race, unlike Ramaswamy who is a virtual political unknown.
Ramaswamy’s lack of political experience has also come under a harsh spotlight during and since the debate, in which he sparred with all the other candidates and attracted the most attention.
He has suggested ending American support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s invasion, suggesting that the U.S. should cut a deal with strongman Vladimir Putin in exchange for some kind of Russian to distance itself from China.
The biotech entrepreneur also compared Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Black congresswoman from Boston, to a Ku Klux Klan leader because she criticized his attacks on affirmative action. He also called climate change “a hoax” during the debate.