Sep 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ramaswamy criticizes Trump's actions in alleged fake elector scheme

Vivek Ramaswamy takes questions in the Spin Room after the first GOP presidential primary debate in August. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said he wouldn't have nominated fake electors to help contest the 2020 race if put in Trump's shoes.

Driving the news: Ramaswamy said "bad judgments" were made in regard to former President Trump's alleged fake electors scheme to subvert the 2020 election results while speaking to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week."

What they're saying: "Frankly, if I were the U.S. president, I would have never let it get to that place," Ramaswamy said.

  • "We had systematic suppression of information. We had systematic COVID mandates, which I think actually created a lot of the frustration that led up to January 6 that was pent up," Ramaswamy said.

When asked if he thought it was wrong for Trump to "encourage the mob to storm the Capitol," Ramaswamy disagreed with the characterization, saying Trump encouraged "peaceful protest" on Jan. 6.

  • "Is that what I would have done that day under those circumstances? No, but I do think that that's different from a crime, and so I disagree with a lot of what he did that day," Ramaswamy said.

Yes, but: Ramaswamy's comments echoed his enthusiasm at the first GOP presidential primary debate surrounding his commitment to support Trump as the Republican nominee, even if the former president is convicted in any of his four ongoing criminal cases.

  • The GOP hopeful doubled down on his debate response when questioned by Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
  • "What I've said is clear, if Donald Trump's the nominee, yes, I will support him. And if I'm the president, yes, I will pardon him, because that will help reunite the country, but it's not the most important thing I'm going to do as the next president," Ramaswamy said.

Zoom out: Ramaswamy has had to backpedal on previous comments he made about Trump's actions on Jan. 6.

  • Back in Jan. 2021, Ramaswamy had called Trump's actions surrounding Jan. 6 "abhorrent."
  • Last week, Ramaswamy disputed the claim that he criticized Trump for being a sore loser on Jan. 6. in his 2022 book, "Nation of Victims."

Go deeper: Vivek Ramaswamy's post-debate fundraising haul

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