Iowa (US): Indian-American entrepreneur and prominent GOP figure, Vivek Ramaswamy, officially exited the White House race on Tuesday following a lackluster performance in Iowa, the initial Republican Party nominating contest. Renowned for his outspoken debate skills, Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur, announced his withdrawal during a press conference in Iowa, simultaneously pledging his support to Donald Trump, whom he previously hailed as the "best president of the 21st century."
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Born to immigrant parents from southern India in Ohio, Ramaswamy emerged as a surprise contender in the 2024 Republican race, overshadowed by the dominant presence of former President Trump, as reported by Reuters. Addressing supporters in Des Moines, Ramaswamy emphasized, "As I've said since the beginning, there are two America First candidates in this race, and I called Donald Trump to tell him that. Going forward, he will have my full endorsement."
Latest CNN figures, with 93 percent of results released, project Ramaswamy to secure only two out of Iowa's 40 delegates. Despite his staunch defense of Trump against multiple indictments, Ramaswamy expressed his commitment to removing himself from ballots in Colorado and Maine, where the former president faced disqualification. Additionally, he vowed to grant Trump a pardon for all charges on his first day in office.
In contrast, Trump achieved a resounding victory, anticipated to claim 20 out of Iowa's 40 delegates. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are estimated to secure eight and seven delegates, respectively. Trump's triumph in this initial election since his atypical exit in 2020 solidifies his control over the GOP and reinforces the strength of his right-wing message. This victory positions him as the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, setting the stage for a potential rematch against incumbent Joe Biden.
With attention now shifting to New Hampshire, set to hold its first-in-the-nation Republican primary on January 23, the race for the nomination intensifies.
—Input from Agencies