The conservative Andrew Yang? GOP strategists react to 'anti-woke' crusader Vivek Ramaswamy's White House run

Some political pundits are comparing 2024 Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to 2020 Democratic White House contender Andrew Yang, a first-generation American.

Vivek Ramaswamy, one day after announcing a 2024 presidential run, says his White House bid "isn’t just a political campaign, but a cultural movement."

The health care and tech sector entrepreneur, conservative commentator and author and culture wars crusader declared his candidacy for president in a live interview on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday and quickly hit the campaign trail in New Hampshire, which holds the second contest in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.

Ramaswamy, the 37-year-old author of "Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam," says his vision is about restoring the "national identity in America."

While they are polar opposites when it comes to policy, some political pundits are comparing Ramaswamy to Andrew Yang, whose unconventional ideas and outsider campaign caught on with many voters four years ago.


Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants who achieved business world success as an entrepreneur, saw his one-time long shot bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination soar before ultimately sputtering out.

"The way I see Vivek is very similar to what we saw from Andrew Yang in 2020, where he expands the conversation, he looks at the issues in a different way and provides an outsider’s type of perspective and brings new ideas – which is really exciting – into the process," "New Hampshire Today" radio host Chris Ryan told Fox News. "As a result of that, I think he’s going to resonate with a significant portion of the base."


The son of Indian immigrants, Ramaswamy, like Yang, has been very successful in the private sector. And now he’s trying to follow in Yang’s footsteps as he enters a GOP presidential primary field that already includes former President Trump and former South Carolina Governor and former Ambassador Nikki Haley, who’s also a first-generation Indian American.

"It’s great to see Vivek coming in and bringing a positive, forward-looking message. I think that’s going to be critical to being successful in 2024," New Hampshire-based conservative strategist and activist Greg Moore told Fox News.

Moore, the longtime state director for the influential conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, noted that Ramaswamy has "a very interesting story – a first generation American. Although ideologically very different, in many ways his background is very similar to Andrew Yang, who ran for president in 2020 on the Democratic side."

He emphasized the "tremendous optimist that typically comes along with first-generation Americans. People who still have the family who can tell them what they came from and why they came to America. And that’s why first-generation Americans tend to be some of the optimistic people you will find, and Vivek definitely has that space."

Despite comparisons to Yang, Ramaswamy would like to emulate another one-time presidential long shot who ended up in the White House — former President Trump.

Like Ramaswamy, Trump entered the 2016 cycle with low expectations but plenty of entrepreneurial spirit and unconventional ideas. 

In his Fox News’ interview on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Ramaswamy referred to Trump as a "friend" and said he respected what the former president was able to accomplish during the 2016 election, which inspired his own presidential ambitions. But Ramaswamy emphasized that the nation cannot be "looking in the rearview mirror," a likely reference to Trump’s repeated attempts to litigate his 2020 election loss to President Biden.

"He spoke to problems as an outsider, not as an insider politician … that spotted problems that no other politician was talking about or even able to talk about and addressed some of those issues. But the question is, where do we go from here," Ramaswamy said. 

"And I do think that he got the country to a certain point, but ‘Make America Great Again,’ ‘MAGA,’ ‘America First,’ these are big ideas. These are ideas that are so big that none of us — not me, not Ron DeSantis, not Donald Trump — has a monopoly on those ideas. These ideas are bigger than any individual. … In order to put America first, you have to first rediscover what America is."

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