Donald Trump criticises Vivek Ramaswamy publicly ahead of Iowa caucus

WASHINGTON: Former US president Donald Trump for the first time has lashed out at his rival Vivek Ramaswamy, who is most closely aligned with him in the race for the Republican nomination, accusing the Indian-American entrepreneur of engaging in “deceitful campaign tricks”.Trump’s remarks came ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday, marking the beginning of the long process by which the Republicans and Democrats choose their nominees for the presidential election.
The comments come after a series of remarks and posts by Ramaswamy, 38, that have angered Trump and his team.
Trump’s criticism stemmed from shirts that Ramaswamy’s campaign is handing out that say ‘Save Trump, Vote Vivek’ on them.
Ramaswamy posted a photo with a group of young men wearing them after his event in Rock Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday, which caught the former president’s attention.
“Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations,’ etc. Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks,” Trump, 77, wrote on Truth Social on Saturday.
“Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the ‘other side’ – don’t get duped by this. Vote for ‘TRUMP, don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA,” he added.
Make America Great Again (MAGA) is an American political slogan and movement popularised by Trump during his successful 2016 presidential campaign and is used to refer to Trump’s political base,
The criticism marks the first time Trump and his team have made direct, public attacks against Ramaswamy.
Until now, Trump has largely avoided criticising Ramaswamy due to his strong praise and defence of the former president.
However, the criticisms come as voters will start making their voices heard in the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Monday and as Ramaswamy has started to become more direct in laying out the case for why he is the Trump alternative, ABC News said.
On the campaign trail, the biotech entrepreneur has pitched himself to Trump-leaning voters as the best of both worlds: someone with experience as a businessman who also has a deep understanding of the Constitution.
After Trump’s post, Ramaswamy who had previously stayed away from bashing Trump, again praised Trump.
Ramaswamy said he respects “the hell out of Trump” and that he’s the “best President of the 21st century.”
But he doubled down on his claim that Trump’s political enemies aim to narrow the Republican field into a “2-horse race” between Trump and Nikki Haley, another Indian-American in the Republican race and that they will eventually “eliminate” him from the race.
“OPEN YOUR EYES to the hard TRUTH: this system will stop at nothing to keep this man away from the White House,”Ramaswamy continued.
Ramaswamy in an extended comment on X, formerly known as Twitter, referred to the former president’s comments as an “unfortunate move by his campaign advisors, I don’t think friendly fire is helpful.”
Ramaswamy also continued to claim that Haley and Trump were being positioned as the two candidates in the race with the end goal of eliminating Trump from the contest. Source

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