Vivek Ramaswamy is set to be the number one target at tonight’s Republican debate, a political strategist told Daily Express US.
Kaivan Shroff, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign, said that “everyone hates” the business mogul attempting to turn politician who, according to a CNN poll, is second in the early primary state of New Hampshire behind former president Donald Trump.
He said: “Definitely expect Nikki Haley vs. Vivek round two – she got her moment with him last time going after him on foreign policy….he has been attacking her since.”
Ramaswamy recently used Nikki Haley’s maiden name, Nimarata Randhawa, on his campaign website in a move that some have perceived to be an attack on his fellow Indian American.
Shroff says that beyond the former South Carolina governor, viewers can expect a number of other candidates to go after the biotech entrepreneur.
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He added: “More than Nikki, expect everyone to go after Vivek for two reasons: one, he is still a top contender – latest polling shows he is second in New Hampshire with Haley and Christie right behind him.
“And two, since the last debate there has been a lot more reporting on his background, so candidates should be armed with several lines of attack.”
Shroff pointed to Ramaswamy’s recent decision to join TikTok – the app has drawn criticism from Republicans due to its potential ties to the Chinese government.
Ramaswamy even called the platform “digital fentanyl”, branding it a security risk just days before joining. Several major GOP candidates have said they wanted to ban the app.
In his first post on the app, he said: “We’re in this to reach young people, to energize young people, and to do that, we can’t just hide.”
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However, Ramaswamy has also said he is in favor of raising the voting age from 18 to 25 – something which would require a constitutional amendment and likely won’t sit well with young people.
Viewers can also expect candidates viewed as moderates – such as Mike Pence, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott – to attack Ramaswamy on issues where he has gone further than Trump allowing them to appear “reasonable” without upsetting the party’s MAGA base, Shroff said.
He added that Nikki Haley will also likely have a “target” on her back after what has been seen as a successful performance at the last GOP debate.
Despite the knives coming out for Ramaswamy, he still remains an unlikely contender for the Republican Candidacy.
In fact, all of those taking the stage this evening appear to be longshots compared to Donald Trump, who will not be at the debate.
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