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Vivek Ramaswamy says his campaign’s about ‘national revival’

(NewsNation) — Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign has been one of the biggest surprises in the early stages of the 2024 presidential race so far.

Just a couple of months ago, the Republican presidential hopeful was polling around 0%. Now, he’s climbed to third in the Real Clear Politics average of polls with close to 6%.

That’s still less than the 51% former President Donald Trump has, or the 19% fellow GOP candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have.

Still, Ramaswamy’s numbers have soared, while DeSantis’ have either stayed the same or shrunk. And he’s also doing better than former Vice President Mike Pence, who has 5.6% according to the poll, or former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who’s hovering a little above 3%.

No candidate has spent more time on the trail in New Hampshire and Iowa than Ramaswamy. His campaign gave NewsNation behind-the-scenes access on his official campaign bus. He told NewsNation a chief goal of his is reviving national pride.

Republican voters who spoke to NewsNation have said Ramaswamy would make a great pick for Trump’s vice president but he has no interest in that.

“I’ve said this very clearly. I don’t do well in a number two position,” Ramaswamy said. “I think Trump is wired the same way. I’m not at this to be a politician. I’m in this to lead a national revival, and I think the best way I can do that is by winning the presidency.”

Ramaswamy went on to say that he believes he’s the only candidate in the entire GOP that can deliver a “landslide margin victory.”

“That’s why I’m in the race,” he said.

Ramaswamy hit a big milestone over the weekend: his campaign hit the donor requirement of 40,000 to qualify for the GOP debates. Big-name candidates like Pence, meanwhile, have not qualified for the debates, and Trump has said he intends to skip them.

To Ramaswamy, though, “The debates are going to be crucial.”

“I’m the outsider in this race. Many people in this country don’t know who I am,” Ramaswamy said. “The debate stage and otherwise will be my chance to introduce myself to audiences that have really never heard of me or don’t know me well.”

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