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Vivek Ramaswamy dropping out of presidential race following Iowa caucuses

Breaking down the results of the Iowa caucuses
Breaking down the results of the Iowa caucuses 03:00

Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is suspending his presidential campaign, ending his bid for the Republican nomination after coming in fourth in the Iowa caucuses

"As of this moment, we are going to suspend this presidential campaign," Ramaswamy told his supporters and reporters. 

Ramaswamy said he's offered former President Donald Trump his full endorsement, and said he would appear with Trump on Tuesday. CBS News projects Trump will win the Iowa caucuses. 

The news follows a lackluster performance in the Iowa caucuses and a failure to maintain the short-lived momentum he had garnered in the summer after the second Republican debate.

Vivek Ramaswamy Holds His Caucus Night Party In Iowa
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at his caucus night event at the Surety Hotel on January 15, 2024, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

Ramaswamy, who at 38 years old was the youngest Republican candidate in the race, launched his campaign in February 2023. Before running for president, he had garnered some popularity as a New York Times best-selling author and for his first book, Woke Inc., which argued against corporate America's involvement in social justice initiatives.

He founded multiple companies and used tens of millions of his funds to finance a significant portion of his campaign.

Ramaswamy said he felt a responsibility to get into the presidential race to save the future of America, often citing his two sons Karthik and Arjun. 

Despite making history as the first presidential candidate to complete a visit of each of Iowa's 99 counties twice – nicknamed a "Double Full Grassley" – Ramaswamy only won about 7.7% of support from caucusgoers, with more than 90% of the results in. 

Ramaswamy's approach was very similar to that of former President Donald Trump. And shortly before Iowa, Trump called out Ramaswamy in a Truth Social post. 

"A vote for Vivek is a vote for the "other side" — don't get duped by this," Trump posted. "Vote for "TRUMP," don't waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA." 

Ramaswamy had campaigned on an America First platform, pushing to limit American involvement in foreign affairs like the Russia/Ukraine war as well as the Israel/ Hamas war, but he also leaned heavily into conspiracy theories towards the end of his campaign.

He pushed the false claim that the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was "an inside job" — an allegation that has been rebuked by the House select committee investigation and numerous prosecutions of Jan. 6 defendants. 

He also declared that the 2020 election was "stolen by big tech,"  despite providing no evidence to support it. 

The Ohio Republican also falsely alleged that the Democratic Party's platform is aligned with the unfounded "great replacement theory," a racist conspiracy theory that claims that White people in the U.S. are deliberately being "replaced.". While the country is becoming more diverse, there is no evidence that the "great replacement theory" was ever a part of the Democratic Party's platform. 

Much of Ramaswamy's campaign centered around his staunch defense of Trump. In the final stretch of his campaign, he submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court asking them to reverse the Colorado Supreme Court decision to remove Trump's name from the primary ballot. He also pleaded with voters to nominate him to represent the Republican Party if they wanted to save Trump and his legacy.

Ramaswamy had previously promised to stay until the race "until the very end."

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