New Hampshire Voters Like Ramaswamy, but More as a No. 2

Vivek Ramaswamy, the one top-polling presidential candidate to hit the marketing campaign path over Labor Day weekend, is having fun with the eye of his newfound standing.

Throughout 5 occasions in New Hampshire on Saturday, a part of an 11-stop swing within the Granite State, Mr. Ramaswamy drew a whole lot of attendees, typically exceeding the variety of seats or the area offered at venues from a state truthful in Contoocook to a rustic retailer in Hooksett.

However the crowds and a focus being showered on the 38-year-old political newcomer include one thing of a caveat: Lots of these exhibiting up at his occasions and driving his rise within the polls see him as a doable vice chairman or an amazing future president — however not essentially a president but.

“I have socks older than him,” mentioned Pamela Coffey, 69, who got here from Peterborough, N.H., to see the candidate in particular person.

Mr. Ramaswamy, who entered the race in February with little identify recognition and no political expertise, has campaigned at a grueling tempo in early states and adopted an everywhere-all-the-time media technique that in latest weeks has propelled him to 3rd place within the race, simply behind Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

A combative efficiency within the first Republican presidential debate final month, through which he was attacked greater than some other candidate onstage, put a highlight on him that translated into heightened attendance at his marketing campaign occasions. However some voters in New Hampshire mentioned they nonetheless had reservations about Mr. Ramaswamy’s youth and inexperience.

Mr. Ramaswamy has used his standing as the primary millennial to run as a Republican candidate to lament his technology’s being “hungry for a cause” — primarily to older audiences. Probably the most dependable applause strains at his New Hampshire occasions was his controversial proposal to require that top schoolers cross a civics take a look at earlier than they’ll vote.

Mr. Ramaswamy’s “America First” platform and outsider standing are long-established after former President Donald J. Trump’s, right down to his predisposition towards falsehoods. Like Mr. Trump, for instance, Mr. Ramaswamy has expressed disdain for President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine: He scoffed at “Zelenskyism” and referred to as the president the “pied piper of Hamelin in cargo pants” as cows mooed within the background at an occasion in Dublin, N.H.

Pat Cameron of Goffstown, N.H., mentioned he noticed Mr. Ramaswamy as a “great candidate” with “a lot of really good ideas grounded in what this country really believes in.” However he added: “I honestly believe that Trump would be the best. Personally, I would have loved to see President Trump take him as his running mate for vice president.”

And Mr. Trump himself complimented Mr. Ramaswamy this week, spurring questions on whether or not the Republican presidential front-runner would think about Mr. Ramaswamy to run as No. 2 on his ticket if he wins the nomination.

On Tuesday, the previous president advised the conservative commentator Glenn Beck that he thought Mr. Ramaswamy was “a very, very intelligent person.”

“He’s got good energy,” Mr. Trump continued. “He could be some form of something.”

However Mr. Ramaswamy, who has mentioned repeatedly that he’s not operating to be second in command, reiterated that stance on Saturday. “I think President Trump and I share this in common: Neither of us would do well in a No. 2 position,” he mentioned at a city corridor in Newport, N.H., simply after calling Mr. Trump, as he did within the Republican debate, the “best president of the century.”

Regardless of Mr. Ramaswamy’s frequent reward for Mr. Trump — and repeated guarantees to pardon him, if he wins the presidency — he has sought to distinguish himself in delicate methods. Whereas Mr. Trump has continued to invoke the 2020 election and the indictments he faces, Mr. Ramaswamy requires a forward-thinking imaginative and prescient of the US as a “nation in our ascent” with revived patriotism beneath a drastically altered govt department.

And Mr. Ramaswamy has just lately alluded to questions of Mr. Trump’s electability, saying on Saturday that the “America First movement does not belong to one man” and that 2024 “can’t be another 50.1 election.”

“I’m the only candidate in this race who can win in a landslide that reunites this country, that brings young people along,” he mentioned in Dublin.

Nonetheless, many citizens who got here to listen to him communicate in New Hampshire uttered his identify with that of Mr. Trump, unprompted.

“I like that he’s not like a normal politician,” mentioned Reed Beauchesne, 54, of Harmony, N.H. “He reminds me of Trump, in a way. I think he and Trump would be great together, actually.”

And for the voters looking for a substitute for Mr. Trump, not being a “normal politician” might be interpreted as a hindrance.

“He’s got some points that resonate with everybody, so that’s wonderful, but my biggest concern is his lack of experience,” mentioned David Leak, 63, who added that he most well-liked Mr. DeSantis. “Every politician talks great on the stump, the speeches are well rehearsed, but what do they do after they get in?”

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