Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is leaning into his controversial positions as he looks to build momentum after a standout performance at the first GOP debate, but strategists warn his attention-grabbing moves could backfire on his campaign.
Ramaswamy during the debate called the “climate change agenda” a “hoax” and took fire for saying he’d cut funding to Ukraine. Ahead of the event, he came under scrutiny for comments that appeared to question whether federal agents were on the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks. In the days after, he compared Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) to “modern grand wizards” of the Ku Klux Klan and doubled down after criticism.
The political newcomer has been rising in Republican primary polling and reported a fundraising spike after taking the debate stage, but some new surveys show his popularity slipping slightly among Republican voters.
Background thumbnail illustration: Madeline Monroe