Washington, Jan 2: Coming out firmly in support of his Republican presidential rival candidate Donald Trump, Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy has reiterated that he will withdraw from the ballot in states that remove the former President from running in the primaries.
Ramaswamy's vow came after Colorado and Maine barred Trump recently from running in the states' presidential primary for his role in the January 6, 2021, US Capitol riot.
They ruled that Trump engaged in "insurrection" when he spread claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election, and instigated supporters to march on the Capitol to stop lawmakers from certifying the vote.
In an interview on NewsNation Prime on Monday, Ramaswamy said his goal was to “nullify” Maine and Colorado by boycotting their elections, The Hill reported.
“... Look, it wasn’t in protest. I’m actually a very practical person. 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,” the tech entrepreneur said.
Trump's campaign said it would quickly file an objection to the "atrocious" decision by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.
The former President, who is leading opinion polls by a large margin in the race for the Republican nomination, vowed to appeal the Colorado ruling, and criticised ballot challenges as “undemocratic”.
“If they’re going to behave in that unconstitutional way, the Republican candidates can actually stop this form of election interference. So 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,” Ramaswamy said.
“Now, the others have been sidestepping the issue, have been radio silent on it," Ramaswamy told NewsNation Prime, referring to other Republican candidates in the presidential race.
The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur added that "their unwillingness to do so 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.
Following the Colorado ruling, former US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis -- Ramaswamy’s fellow Republican presidential candidates -- denounced efforts to block Trump.
“The idea that judges are going to take it upon themselves to decide who can and can’t be on the ballot is truly unthinkable... And I think the people of Colorado should be furious," Haley, also an Indian-American, had said in an interview with Fox News.