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Tipsheet

The 2024 GOP Field Just Got Bigger

Real Time With Bill Maher

There’s a new Republican candidate, and it’s not Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor will be the big splash. Still, another candidate can legitimately run as an outsider since he isn’t a former president or UN ambassador to the United Nations. It’s a venture capitalist named Vivek Ramaswamy, author of ‘Woke, Inc.,’ who is trying to become an ‘ideas’ candidate, which is a polite way of saying he’s a long shot against the likes of Trump and DeSantis. As Axios reported, Ramaswamy could become the Steve Forbes or Andrew Yang candidate, who got discussions about a flat tax and universal basic income into the mix. At least, maybe that’s the initial goal—who knows where things can end up for Mr. Ramaswamy (via Axios): 

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In an interview with Axios, Ramaswamy said he will be focusing on addressing what he views as America's biggest challenge — a national identity crisis that has left America adrift. 

"American today is so hungry for meaning and identity at a moment in our history when the things that used to fill that void of purpose — be it faith, patriotism, hard work, family, you name it — those things have disappeared," Ramaswamy told Axios. 

"What the conservative movement needs to do is more than just criticize the poison that fills the void but fill the vacuum with a vision of American national identity that runs so deep that it dilutes these other religions, from wokism to Islamism," he said. 

The big picture: Ramaswamy would be a long-shot candidate in a Republican presidential field that has coalesced around fighting the Left on cultural battles. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in particular, has made this a central part of his political identity — and has achieved notable governing successes on that front. 

But Ramaswamy argues that he was one of the first voices that spoke out against "woke capitalism" and the rise of the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement — issues that leading Republicans have taken up as top priorities. 

[…] 

Ramaswamy told Axios he views China, not Russia, as the greatest geopolitical threat to America and criticized President Biden's visit to the Ukrainian capital. 

"He should’ve gone to Ohio before he went to Ukraine," Ramaswamy said, referring to the toxic chemical spill in Palestine, Ohio.

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It’s a good platform and message, but once the heavyweights are in line, it could be a quick suspension of this campaign. And not to downplay anyone’s ambition, but these entries only help Trump. The more, the merrier is what those on the Trump team should hope for to split the GOP vote. If the field becomes as large as in 2016, Trump could win the nomination again. I feel Mr. Ramaswamy’s entry could be met with a lukewarm from more establishment types in the GOP hoping to move on from the Trump moment.

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