Vivek Ramaswamy drops out of 2024 race and endorses Donald Trump

Entrepreneur quits after poor showing in Iowa caucuses and urges other rivals to back Republican front-runner

Former president Donald Trump wins the Iowa caucuses

Former president Donald Trump wins the Iowa caucuses
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Entrepreneur and anti-environmental activist Vivek Ramaswamy announced on Tuesday that he is ending his 2024 presidential campaign, after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Mr Ramaswamy said he made the decision after determining there was no path for him to secure the Republican Party nomination.

He said he would now be backing former president Donald Trump – who won 98 out of the state's 99 counties in a resounding victory.

“Tonight, I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Donald J Trump and will do everything I can to make sure he is the next US president,” Mr Ramaswamy said in a post on X.

Speaking to supporters in Iowa's state capital Des Moines, Mr Ramaswamy asked them “to follow me in taking our America First movement to the next level”.

Mr Ramaswamy suggested he might join Mr Trump for an event in New Hampshire – the next stop in the Republican nomination race – on Tuesday night.

He also said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley should also drop out of the race.

Mr DeSantis and Ms Haley finished a distant second and third place, respectively, in the Iowa caucuses. With Mr Trump expected to win big, the contest was seen as a test for if either of the other candidates could establish themselves as an alternative to the Republican front-runner.

Mr Trump won 51 per cent of the votes on Monday night. Mr DeSantis won 21.2 per cent and Ms Haley won 19.1 per cent.

The results mean that Mr Trump claimed 20 of the state's 40 delegates, with eight being delivered to Mr DeSantis and seven to Ms Haley. Mr Ramaswamy won three delegates.

Mr Ramaswamy clashed with his rivals on the debate stage numerous times in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses.

He also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “terrorist” and said that climate change is a “hoax”.

The son of Indian immigrants, Mr Ramaswamy graduated from Harvard University before founding biotech firm Roivent Sciences.

Updated: January 16, 2024, 1:29 PM