One of Donald Trump’s top advisers has poured cold water on Vivek Ramaswamy’s chances of becoming the former president’s running mate.
“Pretty safe to say it won’t be Vivek,” Jason Miller, who served as spokesperson for Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign and a senior adviser to his failed 2020 bid, toldthe New York Post about Mr Trump’s vice presidential pick.
Back in August, Mr Trump had told a conservative TV host that he was mulling Mr Ramaswamy as a potential contender.
However, in a blistering attack on Saturday on his Truth Social platform ahead of the Republican Iowa caucuses, Mr Trump accused Mr Ramaswamy of being “sly”, having “deceitful campaign tricks” and not fitting his Maga mould.
“Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations’, etc,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks. Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the ‘other side’ – don’t get duped by this.”
In a statement posted on X, Mr Ramaswamy responded by describing the former president’s attack as “unfortunate,” but said he would not “criticize [Trump] in response to this late attack”.
“I’m worried for Trump,” he added. “I’m worried for our country. I’ve stood up against the persecutions against Trump, and I’ve defended him at every step.
“I showed up at the Miami courthouse in solidarity following his first federal indictment. I filed a FOIA demand to the Biden DOJ. I submitted an amicus brief this week with the US Supreme Court calling on them to overturn Colorado’s ruling. I pledged to remove myself from Maine’s & Colorado’s primary ballots if they remove Trump, calling on DeSantis and Haley to do the same.”
Mr Trump, the Republican 2024 frontrunner by a long way, hinted during a Fox News town hall on Wednesday that he had already chosen his pick for vice president – but refused to reveal who it might be.
Mr Ramaswamy has previously suggested that he wouldn’t be interested in being anyone’s VP, saying he is not a “plan B person”.
Rumours have swirled that Ms Haley, who is currently polling in second place behind Mr Trump, could be the former president’s pick – despite his close allies and advisers openly opposing this.
Asked about the possibility of Ms Haley becoming VP, Mr Miller told the New York Post that he would let Mr Trump speak about his decision.
Mr Trump is currently leading in the primary polls with 48 per cent of the vote, while Nikki Kaley is in second place, polling at 20 per cent, and Ron DeSantis on 16 per cent, according to the latest survey conducted by NBC News, The Des Moines Register and Mediacom ahead of the Iowa caucus on Monday.
Mr Ramaswamy earned just 8 per cent of the vote in the poll, just higher than those surveyed who said they were “not sure” – at 5 per cent.