During a recent appearance with CNN, Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy got into an argument with host Abby Phillip about Trump’s remarks. A number of news outlets have criticized Trump for using the phrase “vermin” during a campaign event, and some have even drawn parallels between Trump’s speech and that of past leaders like Hitler and Mussolini.
At a rally, Trump had warned his followers, “We will root out the communist, Marxist, fascist, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within our country.” After hearing this, Phillip wanted to know Ramaswamy’s thoughts on the comment; in particular, he wanted to know if Ramaswamy agreed with Republican Chris Christie that the phrase used was reminiscent of neo-Nazi ideology.
Ramaswamy argued that the media should not fixate on a single word since it distracts from the bigger picture. Using Antifa’s actions and the problems at the U.S. southern border as examples, he argued that the term in issue was more referring to specific behaviors that needed additional discussion.
Rather than getting caught up in arguments about particular phrases used by others, Ramaswamy emphasized his emphasis on debating policy concerns when Phillip asked him about his personal usage of such language. Ramaswamy explained that he had not used it. He said that the media was to blame for taking focus away from important national issues including the border problem, the economy, and the increasing sense of national identity crisis.
Along with criticizing California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stance in San Francisco before Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit, Ramaswamy shifted the subject to the United States’ dependence on China. He bemoaned the fact that the media tends to highlight specific remarks instead of having meaningful conversations about policies.
As this conversation takes place, Ramaswamy’s support among Republicans has been stable at 7% since October, placing him in fourth place in the most recent national survey conducted by Fox News. His opponents are Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and the current poll leader, Donald Trump (62%).