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"Anti-woke" multimillionaire Vivek Ramaswamy launches longshot GOP White House bid

Vivek Ramaswamy on "The Takeout"
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy on "The Takeout" — 3/5/2023 45:37

Vivek Ramaswamy, a wealthy former biotech executive, jumped into the Republican presidential race Tuesday night, announcing his candidacy in a video released on Twitter and with an appearance on Fox News.

The 37-year-old Ramaswamy is running his longshot campaign as an "anti-woke" capitalist who opposes what he considers liberal "woke" indoctrination in corporate investment based on E.S.G., or environmental, societal and governance principles. Ramaswamy has written two books, including "Woke, Inc" — a popular text in conservative circles due to its push to bring a culture war to the corporate world.

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"We're in the middle of a national identity crisis. Faith, patriotism and hard work have disappeared," Ramaswamy said in his announcement video. "We hunger to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Yet we can't even answer the question of what it means to be an American."

Ramaswamy said that the "woke left" has "created a new culture of fear in our country that has completely replaced our culture of free speech in America."

Key Speakers At Conservative Political Action Conference
Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and founder of Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp., speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, US, on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Bloomberg

Ramaswamy had already made trips to early primary states, including Iowa, before he officially filed with the FEC on Tuesday.

The multimillionaire Ohio native has ties to Republican Senator J.D. Vance and billionaire Republican donor Peter Thiel. Ramaswamy, Vance and Thiel started the hedge fund Strive, which encourages investments that stay away from so-called "woke capitalism."

Ramaswamy is the latest Republican to formally announce a bid for the presidency in 2024. Other notable candidates include former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who also served as Trump's U.N. ambassador.

Executive producer: Arden Farhi

Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson

CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin 
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