Vivek Ramaswamy campaign flip-flops include Trump, TikTok and COVID-19

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks March 11 at The Lotus Event Center in West Chester Township, his former hometown.
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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has enjoyed a wave of media attention, been discussed as a possible running mate for Donald Trump and is now often ranked the second most popular candidate among Republican voters.

Ramaswamy, who grew up in Greater Cincinnati and now lives in Columbus, will join other Republicans (though not former President Donald trump) in the next GOP debate Wednesday night in California.

But where does he actually stand on the issues? The Enquirer examined his statements on hot button topics and found he has flip-flopped on several of them.

The Ramaswamy campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the candidate's changing positions before publication.

Donald Trump

What he said before: Ramaswamy critiqued the last days of Trump's presidency in his 2022 book "Nation of Victims," writing that Trump gave Americans "just another tale of grievance, a persecution complex that swallowed much of the Republican party whole."

What he says now: Questioned about Trump during the first Republican presidential primary, Ramaswamy declared Donald Trump "the best president of the 21st century."

The Jan. 6 attacks

What he said before: Tweeting on January 12, 2021, a week after the capitol attack, Ramaswamy said "What Trump did last week was wrong. Downright abhorrent. Plain and simple. I’ve said it before and did so in my piece. In his book, Ramaswamy also called Jan. 6 a "dark day for democracy."

What he says now: "I don't think Donald Trump was the cause of Jan. 6.," Ramaswamy said in an interview with ABC News. Talking to Tucker Carlson at the Family Leadership Summit on July 14, 2023, Ramaswamy named "pervasive censorship," as the main cause for Jan. 6, adding "You tell people in this country they cannot speak. That is when they scream."

Transgender military service ban

What he said before: During an interview with ABC News on June 4, Ramaswamy said "I would not reinstate a ban on transgender members," of the U.S military, repeating "I would not," when asked a second time.

What he says now: After backlash from conservative media outlets, Ramaswamy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, "I do support a *limited* ban for combat roles where the risk is too high," on the same day the interview was released.


What he said before: "My policy views don’t often align with Bernie, but this strikes me as a sensible idea," wrote Vivek in a Tweet from July 17, 2020. Ramaswamy was supporting Senator Bernie Sanders in his call to distribute more masks through his "Masks for All" bill.

What he says now: When asked in a Twitter spaces conversation on Aug. 1 if he had ever backed the Masks for All bill, Ramaswamy replied "no."

COVID Vaccine

What he said before: "We should aim to safely vaccinate everyone who is eligible," wrote Vivek in a Twitter-now called X- post from February 25, 2021. "I’m proud that healthcare providers in my immediate and extended family have already safely received the vaccine."

What he says now: While on the All-in podcast July 21, Ramaswamy said he regrets getting vaccinated, saying "Had I had the facts that I do now, as a young, thankfully healthy male, I would not have chosen to get vaccinated."


What he said before: At a town hall in Okoboji, Iowa on Sept. 8, Ramaswamy called TikTok "digital fentanyl," which China was "putting in your kids’ hands."

What he says now: "I'm on TikTok now," Ramaswamy said in the inaugural video of his campaign's Tiktok account on Sept. 14. "We're here, we're here to stay."

The H-1B visa program

What he did before: Reporting from Politico published Sept. 16 shows Ramaswamy's former company, Roivant Sciences, used "H-1B," visas, which allow U.S companies to employ foreign workers in specialized fields. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved Roivant H-1B visas 29 times, Politico found.

What he says now: Ramaswamy said H-1B visas are "bad for everyone involved," arguing, "The lottery system needs to be replaced by actual meritocratic admission."

2020 presidential election

What he said before: Talking to Politico's Lisa Kashinsky on Aug. 4, Ramaswamy was unwilling to say if he would've certified the election, instead stating that "I would have never let it get to that point,"

What he said now: Speaking to NBC News's Chuck Todd on Aug. 27, Vivek said he would have certified the 2020 presidential election results showing Joe Biden had won but criticized Mike Pence for missing a "historic opportunity" to enact sweeping election reforms through Congress prior to certification.

There were a number of legal, political, and time barriers blocking Pence from enacting election reform laws, even if he wanted to. Most notably, who controlled Congress wasn't fully decided until 2021, with the Georgia Senate special election being held on January 5th of that year. When the results were tabulated, Republicans lost both the House and Senate.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Vivek Ramaswamy has changed his position on Trump, COVID vaccines