Vivek Ramaswamy on CNN's CNN Tonight with Jim Acosta 8.17.23Aug 22, 2023
Meanwhile, the former president in his first on-camera reaction to the Georgia impeachment as a warning to his party is embarrassing and Republicans can't let them get away with it Republicans have to be tough Republicans are great in many ways senses but no They don't fight as hard for these things and they have to get much tougher and if they don't they won't have much of a Republican Party, well they haven't been very tough on Donald Trump and one of the Republicans. The one who defends Trump is Vivek Ramaswamy and today a memo from Ron Desantis' Super PAC presented some advice for the governor of Florida before next week's debate, among the suggestions he defends Donald Trump, but quote, give Ramaswamy a gavel and join me now is the candidate mentioned. in that memo Vivek Rama Swami he will be giving a speech at the Nixon Library
tonightwelcome uh Mr.
Rama Swami I appreciate you joining us it's a pleasure to see you Jim how is he? I'm fine let's get right to this a pro Santa Super PAC I I'm sure you've seen this as documents posted online showing uh desantis upcoming debate strategy and it includes not only attacks on President Biden and the media , but also instructions for quoting Hammer Rama Swami, are you preparing to be hit? prepared for that for much of my life and I am prepared to take it on. The truth is that I am an outsider in this race and I think that is threatening a lot of professional pop politicians, understandably, a guy like me is not.
I'm supposed to be in this race according to his book. I'm approaching my debate strategy a little differently. I think that many times, if you don't have a message, you seek to attack other candidates. I prefer to defend my own message by asking. The question: what are we heading towards? And I believe that if we are guided by that purpose, the attacks of the other candidates will not stop me and the latest Fox polls show that you have gained more ground since June than any other candidate. Because? you are gaining ground while candidates like Rhonda Santos are struggling to catch up.
I think the reality is that I have no restrictions on telling the truth. There are many forces at work in both political parties in the establishment of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party alike, that is limiting. What candidates can really say a lot of that comes from the GOP donor class. You have a lot of Super PAC stooges. I am not one of them. I am a patriot who tells the truth. I'm independent. I'm putting mine. money in this campaign precisely to avoid taking a can with a hat in your hand and asking a group of donors for permission to run and I think that is a very different model for many of the other professional politicians in this race and the good news is that voters around the world In our country, in our base, can tell the difference between someone who truly shares their own convictions and someone who parrots the talking points that have been presented to them 15 minutes or 15 days before a debate.
I think the reality is that my campaign message is also resonating. close the administrative state declare independence from China grow the economy revive national pride revive our own national identity we, as conservatives, cannot simply be complacent about criticizing Biden's radical agenda which is boring, it is trite at some point we have to We defend our own vision and I think I am the only candidate who really offers that. I think that's a big part of why we've been successful. Well, we have a big test ahead of us with next week's debate and eight candidates. Including you, you have met the donor and polling threshold for that debate.
You have signed the loyalty pledge. Hey, former President Donald Trump has refused to sign the pledge. Do you agree with Trump receiving special treatment? Shouldn't I have to follow the rules I expect? Trump will be on that debate stage later this fall and I hope he follows the same set of rules as everyone else, but I'm okay with him missing the first few debates. He's been on that debate stage many times. President for four years, for me this is an opportunity to introduce myself to the country that I long for, because many people still don't know who I am or don't know who I am very well, so that is the opportunity.
I really want President Trump to show up later, but I think it's fair that he misses the first couple. What if he doesn't sign that commitment? He simply refuses to sign it. Is he allowed to pass? that look, I think well, look, I think that if that is a condition to get to the debate stage, then I think he will sign that commitment to get to the debate stage, but the reality is that I think he is waiting based on his public comments At least it looks like he's expecting a smaller field, so I'm hoping to be on the debate stage with him, but for now I'm focused on the road until next Wednesday.
I'm in eight states between now and the debate stage, but I'm looking forward to introducing myself to the people of this country and hopefully drawing some important political contrasts with the rest of the field. I think this is an important moment for the Republican Party to stop obsessing over who there has been so much obsession with Donald Trump. or someone else forget who for a second, let's focus first on who we are, but what we stand for and why we stand for it. That's a discussion that we haven't really had in the Republican Party in a long time and I think this debate scenario is actually going to be good for the evolution of our party, really defining our agenda instead of falling into biographical fights, even though other candidates say Rhonda Sanderson and the Super PAC want him to go in the direction of the biographical fight.
I prefer to go in the fundamental direction that responds to what we defend and why that is what will make our party stronger. I think the former president will appear in the debate whether he is there or not and he is now facing his fourth criminal indictment, this time in Georgia the forgery of false statements election fraud and extortion charges you have said that these are political prosecutions or politicized uh politicize the prosecutions through prosecution um let's hear what your former Attorney General is saying about these people the defendants say he really felt robbed and This was the good fight and the right fight even if he did the right thing and I have doubts at the respect, but even if he believed that it doesn't mean you can use illegal means to rectify it if you think the bank is unfairly taking your money.
There are a lot of things you can do to get it back, you can't go rob the bank, yeah, what's your response to the former Attorney General's look? I think there are deep legal flaws in this case. I'm talking to you from the Nixon presidency. Library where I will be giving a speech later
tonightwe will see Nixon versus Fitzgerald this is something that the press has completely ignored, the act of a president while he is in office or something for which he actually enjoys immunity apart from the impeachment process, so that if you believe even incorrectly that you were looking for voter fraud that alone could be a defense.
I also believe there are deep flaws in due process. Let's start with the fact that Fulton County actually publicly released the indictment charges before the grand jury even signed them. that is a serious and exaggerated error by the prosecutor that is a violation of due process that in itself could be grounds for a motion to dismiss. We also have to look at this prosecution in the context of the fact that there are three now four other prosecutions in a series of months, all gathered around a presidential election that sets a terrible precedent, Jim, for this country we do not want to become a nation where the party in power uses multiple different legal cases while pushing novel and unproven legal theories to overturn their opposition in the middle of a presidential election that is not how we do things in the United States of America and I mean that as someone who in many national polls now ranks second, it would be easier for me if Donald Trump were eliminated from the race than That's not how I want to win.
I stand firm on this. There have been four different parts. Now there are four differences that unite this country. Yes, let me intervene. There have been four different accusations. You don't think he committed any crime in any of these. accusations I don't think any of the accusations have shown that he committed a crime, no, and I have written in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere wearing a legal technical hat and you and I can go into that detail if you'll let us know. If we refuse to return for political reasons, take that as an example: the indictment makes no mention of the Presidential Records Act, the most recently passed law relating to a president, including an outgoing president's access to documents, the fact that that it is a 49- The accusation on the page that someone remained silent about that fact reveals signs of politicization.
I also think the fact that they use the Espionage Act, one of the most un-American laws in American history, which has been used to arrest anti-war activists which was used to lock up Eugene V dibs when he ran I think It is okay to have classified documents Do you think it is okay to have classified documents in Rama Swami's house No, it is not, but I think there is a difference between bad judgment and a crime and the presidential records act expressly It begins with the return of the documents and he did not return them, they asked for the documents to be returned again.
I would have made very different judgments, yeah, look, I'll remind you, I mean, Jim, I'm running in the same race as Donald Trump, so no, I'm not saying that every judgment he made was the same judgment I would make, in fact. It wasn't, but that's different from charging him as a crime, which I think from a terrible precedent in our country if he wants to get a little in the federal elections he lied about the elections he tried to overturn the election results why not report him for that too I will remind you well I will remind you of the Supreme Court precedent in Alvarez, a 2012 case that held that public officials, including politicians, have a First Amendment right to lie to tell the truth and even make statements they did not believe, let alone the fact that there isn't a shred of evidence to suggest Trump didn't do it.
I don't even believe his own claims, so we can get into the technical legal details, all we want, that will happen in the courtroom, but as a matter of judgment as someone who is running and hoping to be the next president of the United States. My main job is to bring this country together and my way of doing that will be to forgive Donald Trump from day one and truly forgive anyone else who has also been a victim of politically motivated persecution through prosecution. We have to move forward as a country and I think this sets a dangerous precedent unless we actually pardon him, but Mr.
Raymond Swami, you just said that you want to wait for all the details, the technical details, to come to light in the trial , but you are declaring beforehand that you would forgive them, why not listen? to analyze the facts and then make that determination. I say this based on an assumption, the assumption is that the statements in each of the indictments are the most favorable statements for the prosecution that we are going to get. Any jurist would tell you that this is the case. a fair assumption in any case the prosecution always puts their strongest foot on the prosecution itself we haven't even heard from the defense so yeah if big surprises come out I mean there is no evidence to suggest trump was peddling those secrets. to foreign adversaries for private gain, but if those facts emerge, of course I would revise my judgment, but the fact of the matter is that the prosecution obviously makes the most aggressive statement of its case in the indictment and assuming that is the case here as it is in In any other case, I will absolutely forgive Trump on the first day, January 20, 2025, when he is in office.
Would you pardon Trump's other alleged accomplices in both the documents and the election cases? It depends on how the facts match the law and you. Don't worry about the documents case, there are special features of the law that apply to a US president, literally the presidential records law treats the former US president, why You say it was different? Forgive Trump on the first day, but no, but why does he say he's going? pardon Trump on day one, but not make that kind of blanket promise to the alleged co-conspirators, shouldn't they get that kind of? I am in favor of the same offer of forgiveness.
I lean favorably. I am favorably inclined to do. but right now I am a competitor against Donald Trump in this primary and I want to be very clear about the principles, although it goes against my interests in this race, so I think that in the interest of uniting this country it is especially important. To be clear about that fact, I hope to perhaps grant dozens of pardonsthe first day. I believe there are countless Americans who have been victims of politically motivated persecution through the prosecution of peaceful protesters on January 6th. January 6th. January 6th. defendants who have actually committed violations of the constitutional process.
Julian Assange is someone who I have specifically identified as someone who I would absolutely forgive Ross Albrecht Douglas Mackey and others, but I think the only way we are going to move forward as a country - there can be no reconciliation without truth, we have to put that past behind us. . us and my main job will be to heal the wounds of this nation to guide us forward because even if we look at these numbers, pardoning Trump is going to heal the wounds of the nation. I think it will be a step towards healing. the wounds of the nation I believe that there are deep wounds in this country that are a consequence of systematic censorship the use of police force as a weapon to achieve political objectives through the justice system that is wrong this is not an easy project for the next president I am in this race because I see many candidates on both sides are motivated by revenge and grievance.
I am motivated to lead this nation forward, and the way we will do that is by restoring a standard of rule of law to all Americans. restore the integrity of the justice system and leave politics to politics. the people of this country should decide who the next president is, they are free to take into account all the information that has been presented by the left-wing media, the right-wing media, etc., in making their decisions. Donald Trump makes good decisions and then you should take that into account when voting for him, but that is not Trump's basis for the prosecution.
What's up with Trump making these threats and making these kinds of inflammatory comments about the judge, the special counsel, etc., in some of these cases? you defend that in case you leave it at that, so I'm not familiar with the specific nature of what inflammatory comment you are referring to or not, you are clearly deeply aggrieved by the fact that you are being prosecuted through four separate cases that have emerged in the At the same time, in the middle of an election again, from my point of view, I would make very different judgments and I would have made very different judgments than Donald Trump, but that's a different point than saying this should be criminalized, there is where I am, so "I'm not in this defense, he says I'm going after anyone who defends the nation, but you heard him say, you heard how he said, I'll go after you, if you come after me, I mean, you heard that Is that right, is that appropriate?
I mean, if you mean, if you mean you're going to file a motion to dismiss, then you should definitely file a motion to dismiss, which I think is going to be very embarrassing for the prosecutor and, frankly, very embarrassing for them, but you don't think that's something. I'm going to be very honest with you. I don't have anything. You have clearly studied every word I look at. I'm going to be very honest with you Jim. I haven't read the specific tweet or social media post. what you're referring to I'm running for president I'm considering reviving our economy and declaring independence from China I'm not analyzing every social media post from every one of my other candidates, but generally speaking my point is that there is a difference between a bad judgment and a crime and the moment we combine we start with bad judgments, that is the moment we have a threat to freedom, yes what is fine, fine, but if you really have to have committed a crime to be processed by one.
So making a very bad judgment as a politician is the basis for a voter to make a decision, but that's how we have to do things in the United States of America, we have to let the people of this country decide who really runs the country. It is not a federal administrative police state and I think that sets a dangerous and deeply problematic precedent in this country and that is why I have been so vocal against it, that is why I am clearly committed to pardoning Donald Trump if he is declared guilty, but you, but you said before that you would wait for the facts to be revealed, if there are big surprises, you can reconsider that my assumption is that the worst statement of the facts, the prosecution's most favorable version of the facts, is in the accusation in 99.9 of the legal cases, that's exactly how it works in the United States and I said it on the first day, when I got engaged, that was my assumption, let's talk about Johnny, you talked about China, you proposed to the radio host, Hugh Hewitt, this week.
The United States should help Taiwan deter a Chinese invasion until the United States as boss summons a semiconductor. Independence really serves our long-term interests to say that we support territorial integrity until a country is no longer useful to us. I think moving from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity is actually a good thing for the United States to both advance our interests and avoid war, as well as being a more reliable partner. I don't think it's credible when we make hollow proclamations to defend democracy or defend territorial sovereignty as a principle when in reality we selectively choose that principle anyway.
I think it's much more credible for us to be honest in saying I'm going to do it as the next president of the United States. I advocate the advancement of American interests, a period that allows other nations to truly trust us in the same way that we can trust them to follow their own interests, they can trust us to follow ourselves or the liberal hegemony, but is it you giving a signal that another power could take control of an allied democracy simply because they are no longer doing something? that we need, well, let's face it, Jim.
I mean, the fact of the matter is that our current stance towards Taiwan is that the United States adopts the one-China policy in the status quo, the standard protocol as president of the United States is not even supposed to take it up. a phone call from the leader of Taiwan, in fact, when Trump did it, they laughed at him like he was some outsider oaf, so the reality is that line of reasoning that somehow you're not going to selectively call them an allied nation to put pressure Back to my view of strategy Clarity is just a farce and betrayal is exactly our current stance, first and foremost, what I am bringing to our foreign policy is the honesty that will advance our interests.
I'm moving from strategic ambiguity to being strategic. very clear that we will defend Taiwan until we achieve semiconductor independence. I hope that will happen at the end of my first term in 2028. But then China can have Taiwan, that will necessarily change, but then China can be clear after that being clear not necessarily what that really means is that Taiwan between now and then can spend what should be spent on National Defense. Taiwan spends less than two percent of GDP on its military, which is shameful. Taiwan needs to spend more than four percent of its own GDP, but by being strategically clear, we give Taiwan the opportunity to develop its own defense capabilities and China will also know that it is not in China's interest at all; no rational actor in China would want to make that move before 2028.
In the meantime, what am I going to do? Achieving semiconductor independence for our nation and also developing our own national defense capabilities, that's something we're missing super EMP defenses, cyber defenses, nuclear missile defenses, but if we're at that point by 2028 along with independent semiconductors , so no, I don't expect it. wanting to send my children, our sons and daughters in this country to die to fight for someone else's territorial dispute and I think that's exactly what this Chinese Civil War going back to 1949 was about. There are two reasons why China could go after Taiwan. one is to dominate an economic weapon over the United States.
I refuse to allow that to happen, but the second is to resolve business dealings dating back to 1949 between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, that is not something that is going to send our sons and daughters to settle down and it has also been suggested that Vladimir Putin will be allowed to keep parts of Ukraine as part of a way to resolve that conflict. What if he wants parts of Poland and leaves out the most important part of dealing more with Ukraine next, isn't he allowing himself to really move away from that? I think the Biden administration is so stubbornly attached to the idea of getting Xi Jinping to drop Vladimir Putin, what I think we need to do is get Vladimir Putin to drop Xi Jinping just like Nixon went to China in 1972.
I think Putin is like the new Mao I will visit Moscow and remove Russia from its military alliance with China The Russia-China military alliance is the biggest military threat we face today hypersonic missile capabilities nuclear capabilities in Russia far ahead of us or China a naval capability in China ahead of ours combined with an economy that we depend on for a modern way of life those two nations are in a military alliance with each other and no one in either political party is talking about it, worst of all is that our commitment in Ukraine is driving Russia even further into the arms of China, so my foreign policy focuses on weakening that Alliance.
Putin, how can we really ensure peace, but you would let the current lines freeze. It would freeze the current lines of control and that would leave parts of the Donbass region in Russian hands. I would also further commit that NATO will not admit Ukraine into NATO, but there are even greater victories that I will achieve, that sounds like a victory at the top of the list our goal should not be for Putin to lose our goal should be for the United States win that's what we've forgotten in this country is that bringing Russia to the ground is not a strategic objective of the US. a strategic objective of the US is to ensure peace and prosperity for Americans, and you know what I believe, many of those military assets that are used to protect against invasion across someone else's border halfway around the world should be used to protect against invasion across our own southern border, right here at home and in In the meantime, yes, we need to separate Russia from China instead of driving Russia further into the hands of China and I think we have a foreign policy set in both parties, frankly the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, which behaves as if We were still in the Cold War. of the last century forgetting that the USSR no longer exists and that the real threat we face today is communist China, which is much stronger.
When Vladimir Putin is in the XI Jinping camp, he's fine, uh Swami, we'll have to leave him there, thank you. Thank you very much for your time, we appreciate it Jim.
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