Vivek Ramaswamy’s star has risen since the first GOP presidential debate last month—all to land him squarely in third place in a recent Fox News poll. The puzzling candidacy prompted the network itself to question Ramaswamy’s purpose in the Republican primary, particularly when Donald Trump still holds a commanding lead.
“President Trump has widened his commanding lead, I mean, at 60 percent,” Fox News Sunday moderator Shannon Bream said. “Now, many analysts say everybody else is just sort of playing for second place. You said you would not accept the vice presidential spot, so what’s the point of your campaign now?”
Ramaswamy deflected, pointing to his desire to expand upon Trump’s “America First” agenda and achieve national unity. However, how Ramaswamy has communicated those goals has rankled some people, Bream noted.
“Your profile is growing, but as it does, our polling also shows your unfavorables are up. This is the latest polling, up 12 points since we pulled this in August,” Bream said. “One recent opinion piece puts it this way: ‘Of all the descriptors attached to Vivek Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old political tyro enjoying a bizarre surge in the Republican primary race for second place, the most common one seems to be annoying.’”
The candidate brushed it off with a laugh and an attempt to spin the comment as solely an attack on his age—with a bizarre comparison to Thomas Jefferson.
“People are annoyed by my rise and believe that a 38-year-old is too young to be U.S. president,” Ramaswamy said. “The fact of the matter is Thomas Jefferson was 33 years old when he wrote the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He also invented the swivel chair while he was out at by the way. And so I think we need to revive that spirit. And I believe Shannon, it will take someone whose best days ahead, are still yet ahead in life, to see a country whose best days are still yet ahead of itself.”
Ramaswamy earned the network’s love following Fox News’ apparent split from Ron DeSantis’ candidacy, mentioning the candidate more than 200 times in one week according to a search of media monitoring suite TVEyes by The Daily Beast’s Confider last month. It came months after Ramaswamy met with Fox Corp. kingpin Rupert Murdoch in April.