A week ago in Milwaukee, at the first Republican presidential debate, the two engaged in a tense interaction that sparked the barbs. Mike Pence called Ramaswamy a “rookie” when discussing the economy and asserted that “now is not the time for on-the-job training.”
Vivek Ramaswamy Hit Mike Pence Over January 6
In a different interaction between the two, Vivek Ramaswamy asked the crowd, “Do you want a Super PAC puppet, or do you want a patriot who speaks the truth?”
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Since then, tensions between Pence and Ramaswamy have gotten worse.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotechnology entrepreneur, has consistently avoided questions about how he would have handled the Capital attack on January 6, 2021, and whether former Vice President Mike Pence made the proper decision in certifying the results of the 2020 election.
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When asked about Pence’s conduct on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” by host Chuck Todd, Ramaswamy expressed his opinion that the former vice president blew an opportunity.
Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old entrepreneur, remarked, “I would have done it very differently; here’s what I would have said: We need single-day voting on election day. We need paper ballots, and we need government-issued ID matching the voter file,”
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He said that he would have started by requesting several electoral reforms, including one-day voting on election day, paper ballots, and government-issued identification that matched voter files.
Ramaswamy criticized Trump’s inability to accept the outcomes of the 2020 election in his book “Nation of Victims: Identity Politics, the Death of Merit, and the Path Back,” published last year.
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A week following the incident on January 6, Ramaswamy wrote, “What Trump did last week was wrong. Downright abhorrent. Plain and simple.”
When Todd questioned the book and his current views on January 6, Ramaswamy responded by saying he would have made “very different” decisions than Donald Trump did that particular day by asserting that there is a distinction between a bad judgment and a crime.
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In response to a question from NBC News on Wednesday, Pence attacked Ramaswamy’s idea. Pence criticized, “What he’s proposing in terms of using the authority as president of the Senate to nationalize elections was incoherent and unconstitutional.”
Pence’s press secretary, David James, called Ramaswamy’s statement about the January 6 incident “both shocking and concerning in its lack of understanding of how our system of government works. In one breath, he joins Nancy Pelosi and radical progressives in wanting to nationalize our election system, and in another, he claims that the Vice President has unilateral authority to decide when to certify elections.”
The two candidates are arguing about more than just the election on January 6. At the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce Forum on Wednesday, Pence attacked Ramaswamy about the economy.
Pence remarked, “You all deserve to know that Vivek Ramaswamy wants a 59% inheritance tax. He wrote about it in his book last year,” he added, “I don’t think death should be a taxable event.”
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In response, the Ramaswamy campaign asserted that Pence had never read Ramaswamy’s book. Tricia McLaughlin, Ramasamy’s communications director, stated to NBC News:
“Vivek supports a 12% flat tax across the board while eliminating cronyism deductions and loopholes. Vivek laid out a mathematical calculation on how to fully eliminate the federal income tax, which wasn’t even constitutional for most of its history. Vivek is an intellectual, not a partisan hack, so he explores ideas,”
When questioned about his attention to Ramaswamy, Pence cautioned that the GOP’s rising star could not be the only one to experience his criticism in the presidential campaign.
Pence stated, “I expect we’ll be talking about the other candidates in the field. We drew some contrast with some others on that stage, but elections are about choices.”
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