Indian-American Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has urged his rivals to follow him and withdraw from the ballots of the US states of Maine and Colorado which disqualified the party’s frontrunner Donald Trump from contesting this year’s race for the White House.
Maine and Colorado disqualified the 77-year-old former president from the presidency this year in the states because of his role in the attack on the US Capitol in 2021. Trump’s disqualification was based on the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which says officials who take an oath to support the US Constitution are banned from future office if they “engaged in insurrection.”
In an interview with a news channel on Monday, the 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur said his goal was to “nullify” the two states that have removed Trump from their ballots by boycotting their elections.
Trump, who is facing several legal hurdles ahead of the November 5, 2024 Presidential election, is currently the frontrunner among the Republican Party candidates.
“If they’re (the states) going to behave in that unconstitutional way, the Republican candidates can actually stop this form of election interference,” Mr Ramaswamy was quoted as saying by The Hill newspaper.
“I said I would remove my name from those ballots, and I called on the other Republicans in the race to do the same thing,” he said.
Republican party presidential candidates- Indian American former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis– have all opposed efforts to block Trump from participating in elections, the report said.
“If they remove Trump’s name, my name is off too, and I call on Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and Chris Christie to do the same thing. Their words are cheap. Action speaks louder than words,” Mr Ramaswamy said.
Pointing out that the other Republican candidates are now “sidestepping” the issue and have been “radio silent” on it, Mr Ramaswamy said, “If every Republican removes themselves, that nullifies Maine, and it nullifies Colorado if they remove a candidate unconstitutionally from that ballot.”
“Now, their unwillingness to do that, I think, reveals that they’re actually complicit in part, in what’s happening, even if indirectly. I think it’s unconstitutional, and we need to stand on principle, so my position is clear,” he said.
“I think that it was deeply unconstitutional and wrong for one individual secretary of state, without any trial or procedure or anything else, just to decide and wake up one day Donald Trump’s not on the ballot. That’s wrong,” he added.
Trump has denied wrongdoing regarding the January 6 insurrection and has decried the 14th Amendment lawsuits as an abuse of the legal process. He is under federal and state indictment in connection with his attempts to overturn the 2020 election won by Joe Biden, a Democrat, and he has pleaded not guilty.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)