'Right of Trump': Longshot GOP presidential hopeful wants to abolish the FBI, the IRS and the Education Dept.
The 2024 GOP presidential field continues to grow. Although former President Donald Trump remains the clear frontrunner, he has his share of challengers — including Nikki Haley (former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and ex-governor of South Carolina), former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and radio host Larry Elder. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be gearing up for a presidential run, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) launched a presidential exploratory committee in April.
Another longshot GOP presidential candidate is far-right 37-year-old tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who has been drawing headlines by calling for the United States to raise its national voting age from 18 to 25 — a move that critics say is designed to hurt Democrats, as the GOP's policies are generally unpopular among Generation Z. But Ramaswamy has many other extreme positions as well.
Ramaswamy, according to the New York Times, also wants to abolish the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education. If elected president, he would halt affirmative action by executive order. Ramaswamy would use the U.S. military against drug cartels in Mexico, and he told The Tennessee Star that he wants to fire "at least half the federal workforce."
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In an article published by Axios on May 12, journalist Alexi McCammond reports that Ramaswamy is "running to the right of Trump" with "hyper-Trumpian positions on the border, voting, culture wars and more."
Ramaswamy told Axios, "We can take the America First agenda even further than Trump because we will do it from a moral foundation."
McCammond stresses, however, that Ramaswamy has so far offered only mild criticism of Trump — for example, criticizing him for not debating fellow Republicans. And Trump is not attacking Ramaswamy the way he has been attacking DeSantis.
In a May 5 post on his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote, "I am pleased to see that Vivek Ramaswamy is doing so well in the most recent Republican Primary Poll, CBS YouGov. He is tied with Mike Pence, and seems to be on his way to catching Ron DeSanctimonious. The thing I like about Vivek is that he only has good things to say about 'President Trump,' and all that the Trump Administration has so successfully done — this is the reason he is doing so well. In any event, good luck to all of them, they will need it!"
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One of Ramaswamy's critics on the right is Never Trump conservative Sarah Longwell, founder of the Republican Accountability Project (formerly Republican Voters Against Trump) and publisher of The Bulwark. The conservative strategist, who endorsed President Joe Biden over Trump in 2020, described Ramaswamy as the type of "purebred culture warrior" who now typifies the GOP.
Longwell told Axios, "Vivek is just much closer to the actual id of Trump than these other candidates. Actual governing experience means you do things like compromise and work with people."
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