Former President Donald Trump issued a sharp criticism of Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, distancing the businessman from Trump’s political movement. Trump’s comments this weekend occurred prior to the crucial Iowa caucuses.
The former president wrote on Truth Social that Ramaswamy “started his campaign as a great supporter,” including praise for Trump.
“Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks,” wrote the former president. Trump called Ramaswamy’s efforts “very sly” and said that a vote for the businessman was a vote for “the other side.”
He called on Republican primary voters not to “get duped” or “waste your vote.”
He added that Ramaswamy is “not MAGA.”
Following the former president’s criticism, Ramaswamy issued a long statement on social media. The candidate said that he had seen Trump’s post and called it an “unfortunate move by his campaign advisors.”
Yes, I saw President Trump’s Truth Social post. It’s an unfortunate move by his campaign advisors, I don’t think friendly fire is helpful. Donald Trump was the greatest President of the 21st century, and I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack.
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) January 14, 2024
Ramaswamy added that he didn’t “think friendly fire is helpful.” The candidate called Trump the “greatest President of the 21st century,” adding that he would not “criticize him in response to this late attack.”
Ramaswamy said that he was “worried” for the former president and the country. The candidate said that he had “stood up” for Trump during multiple indictments and filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court calling for the overturn of Colorado’s decision to strip Trump from that state’s GOP primary ballot.
Ramaswamy said that the “same billionaires funding the lawsuits against Trump are the ones trying to prop up” former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R). He also cited positive media coverage for Haley.
“We can’t fall for that trap. 1 year from now, we won’t look back and say we were shocked that it happened. We’ll kick ourselves for not stopping it,” he wrote.
He said that the America First movement “must live on.” He said that he wanted to “save Trump & to save this country. Let’s do it together. You won’t hear any friendly fire from me.”
Ramaswamy dropped out of the GOP race Monday after a fourth place finish in Iowa and endorsed Trump.