Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was disappointed when other GOP candidates chose not to follow his decision to pull their names from the Colorado primary ballot in solidarity with former President Trump, but said the gesture is his way of “lead[ing] by example.”
“It’s an unconstitutional and flagrant violation of the way we conduct elections in this country. This is not the way we do things in the United States of America. We the people are the ones who select our leaders, not unelected cabals of Democrat judges and back office,” Ramaswamy told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Trump from the state’s ballot.
The esteemed entrepreneur and Republican firebrand joined the show, along with his wife Dr. Apoorva Ramaswamy, to explain his decision to remove his own name from the ballot and to discuss the young vote.
“The reason I made the statement I did is very practical,” he continued, reflecting on the Colorado ballot.
“If every Republican in the Colorado GOP primary also says, ‘We’re not participating,’ then this blatant act of election interference has no impact, so I wanted to lead by example to say that, if they are going to forcibly remove Trump’s name from that ballot, then I would voluntarily remove myself too, and called on Chris Christie and Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis to do the same thing. I have to say, I was disappointed to hear radio silence or worse from those other candidates who said they wanted to still collect their delegates.”
Ramaswamy said he didn’t see much value in collecting a “small” number of delegates while tolerating “blatant election interference,” but said candidates pledging to pull their names from the ballot would help the Republican Party “solve this problem.”
“I am running to win this election. It would be a lot easier for me, for us, if Donald Trump weren’t in the race to win, but what are we winning for? It’s to protect a constitutional republic. And that’s the first principle we have to stand for above all, so that’s why I made the decision that I did,” he said.
The court’s 4-3 ruling last Tuesday disqualified the former president on the grounds of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, citing his conduct during the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.
The ruling is stayed until Jan. 4, however, due to likely appeals.
Ramaswamy, after news broke about the decision, came out swinging. He posted on X, blasting the move with language similar to that from Sunday’s segment, writing in part, “This is what an *actual* attack on democracy looks like: in an un-American, unconstitutional, and *unprecedented* decision, a cabal of Democrat judges are barring Trump from the ballot in Colorado.”
He continued, laying out his pledge to have his own name removed from the state’s ballot unless Trump’s is restored. He also made a “demand” that other candidates do the same.
Though none have similarly pledged to removed their names, Trump’s White House rivals showed solidarity with him in their own ways.
“The Left invokes ‘democracy’ to justify its use of power, even if it means abusing judicial power to remove a candidate from the ballot based on spurious legal grounds. SCOTUS should reverse,” DeSantis wrote in a social media post, ripping what he viewed as judicial overreach.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters, “we don’t need to have judges making these decisions. We need voters to make these decisions. So I want to see this in the hands of the voters. We’re going to win this the right way.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, perhaps one of Trump’s more outspoken opponents from his own side of the aisle, said, “I do not believe Donald Trump should be prevented from being President of the United States by any court. I think he should be prevented from being President of the United States by the voters of this country.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.