Republican presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy has slammed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for seeking additional funds from the US to hold polls in the war-torn country.
The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur also asserted that he is on his way to becoming the party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential elections.
In an interview with Fox News, Ramaswamy defended his statement that he would cut aid to Ukraine if elected as the US president.
“I have a problem with appeasement too, but I want to be very clear. We have to level with the American people here. Just because Putin is an evil dictator -- and he is -- does not mean that Ukraine is good,” he said.
“This (Ukraine) is a country that has banned 11 opposition parties. This is a country that has consolidated all media into one state media arm, whose president just last week was praising a Nazi in his own ranks, has threatened the United States not to hold its own normal elections this year unless it gets more funding,” Ramaswamy said.
Now polling third and fourth in major national polls, Ramaswamy said he is on his way to becoming the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.
“Six months ago, even five months ago, most people across this country didn't know who I was. Now we're already polling in third in national averages in many cases,” he said.
“I think we are on our way to the nomination. But, to me, this isn't about me. It isn't about Trump. It's about putting America first. I think that message is resonating across the country. It will take someone of a different generation to reach the next generation,” said the Indian-American leader.
Responding to a question, he defended his decision to join the Chinese-owned app TikTok.
Earlier, Ramaswamy used to call TikTok "digital fentanyl" over fears that China is using the app to spy on the US.
“Look, the Democrats are absolutely on this platform, and even look at the hypocrisy of some on stage. Nikki Haley's own adult daughter uses TikTok and she's virtue signalling on stage about the importance of hiding from it,” he said.
Ramaswamy said he got an account on the app to reach the next generation of young Americans as he wants to win the election.
“We have to win elections to drive change in this country. We can't just hide in our own echo chambers. So, yes, I want to win in landslides. I want to reach young people so that we can implement policies like banning social media in kids under the age of 16, which I favour,” he said.
“We have to engage in that true open dialogue to be able to enact policies like declaring economic independence from China. I think it's hypocritical for many Republicans. You want to just take other companies like Airbnb. Airbnb hands over the user data of us users to the Chinese Communist Party, just like TikTok or any other company. So, the fact that they're American-owned doesn't make a difference,” he said.
“These politicians are duping the American people and using it to signal their virtue, even as their own kids are on that same platform. It is hypocrisy,” he added.
Ramaswamy said he knows the American dream exists because he has lived it.
“I have built multiple multibillion-dollar companies. I think now is the moment to have a CEO in the White House. Here's what's wrong with Bidenomics, rising prices. That's inflation. Rising interest rates contribute to rising mortgage rates to buy a home, at the same time that you have stagnant wages,” he said.
“I understand the frustrations of workers. What are we going to do? First, address that problem by delivering economic growth. Unlock American energy. Drill, frack, burn coal, embrace nuclear energy. Put people back to work by no longer paying them more money, taxpayer money, to stay at home," he added.
He said he would rescind a majority of unconstitutional federal regulations to unlock the US economy.
“Rescind a majority of unconstitutional federal regulations that failed the Supreme Court's test...I think a majority of those federal regulations are unconstitutional. I will rescind them on day one. That unlocks our economy,” he said.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.