Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy accused the censorship of motivating rioters to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, dismissing the notion that former President Donald Trump’s false rhetoric about an election stolen that caused the violence.
In a conversation with former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson at the Family Leadership Summit Friday afternoon, Ramaswamy said big tech platforms’ moderation of news on Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020 and perceptions of excessive government over vaccines and on stay-at-home mandates during the pandemic has prevented people from accessing the truth.
“What caused January 6 is the pervasive censorship in this country in the run-up to January 6,” Ramaswamy said, repudiating the notion that Trump motivated the riot. “You tell people in this country they can’t talk. That’s when they scream. You tell people they can’t yell. That’s when they tear things down.
« Until we look in the mirror and admit the truth about this, we will not move forward as a country, » Ramaswamy added.
Ramaswamy’s comments appear to be aimed at the wing of the Republican party that has been trying to shift the blame around the January 6 riot from Trump’s constant falsehoods that election fraud pushed the vote towards Joe Biden. They’re also in line with popular conservative sentiments that the government has overstepped First Amendment issues in its relationship with big tech.
Throughout his run, Ramaswamy has not been afraid to step outside the mainstream with his stances. Notably, his foreign policy plan is to give Russia the land he tried to take from Ukraine during the war in exchange for giving up its partnership with Beijing. Such an arrangement would not sit well with European allies and is in stark contrast to the Biden administration’s current approach.
“I would negotiate an agreement that ends the war in Ukraine by freezing the current lines of control. Yes, that means giving part of the Donbas region to Russia,” Ramaswamy said, referring to a region Russia has been trying to take from Ukraine. “I will make a strong commitment that NATO will never admit Ukraine into NATO. And those seem like unspeakable words, certainly in the Republican donor class, but we get something greater in return.
His eyebrow-raising stances may partially explain his relative success in the GOP primary so far. A millionaire and successful entrepreneur, Ramaswamy’s rise to fame in conservative circles was due in part to his corporate ideology which rejected increasingly common practices of corporate responsibility, especially in environmental, social and corporate governance.
Despite his relatively low recognition and paucity of political experience relative to the field, Ramaswamy has performed increasingly well in the polls since announcing his presidential run in February. In a Morning consultation poll released Wednesday – which counts as one poll to qualify for the first GOP debate – the businessman placed third with 8% support, edging out big names including Pence, the former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Ramaswamy is yet to meet donor requirements to enter the debate stage in August, having launched a money solicitation program that would give backers a portion of the money they help raise.