Top Ramaswamy campaign official leaves to join Trump team
In what represents a significant reshuffling of the GOP primary landscape, a one-time top advisor to Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has jumped ship in order to join the campaign of former President Donald Trump, as The Messenger reports.
Departing the Ramaswamy fold is Brian Swensen, the candidate's national political director, who is accepting a position working with Susie Wiles, a high-level adviser to the Trump campaign.
As The Messenger notes, Swensen's decision is an undeniable hit to the Ramaswamy campaign, which has failed to capitalize on a surge in popularity and recognition that appeared to take root earlier this year.
Whereas Trump maintains the support of approximately 60% of the GOP primary electorate, Ramaswamy currently garners a meager 5%.
While the news of Swensen's departure might lead some observers to suspect that some sort of rift or significant falling out occurred between himself and the candidate, that was apparently not the case.
The Messenger described the parting of Swensen and the campaign as “amicable,” with Ramaswamy communications director Tricia McLaughlin quoted as saying, “We love Brian and wish him all the best.”
Vivek on deck?
With his political director choosing to join forces with Trump, the question of whether Ramaswamy himself would be willing to do the same is almost certain to arise.
Indeed, talk of the tech entrepreneur possibly becoming Trump's running mate is nothing new, with the former president himself even addressing the subject during an interview in late August, as The Hill noted at the time.
Speaking to Glenn Beck of Blaze TV, Trump was asked whether he had contemplating offering Ramaswamy the number-two spot on the Republican ticket.
“Well, I think he's great. Look, anybody that said I'm the best president in a generation...I have to like a guy like that,” Trump began.
Trump went on, “He's a smart guy. He's a young guy. He's got a lot of talent. He's a very, very, very intelligent person. He's got good energy, and he could be in some form of something. I tell ya, I think he'd be very good. I think he's really distinguished himself.”
The former president did note, however, that the upstart candidate had gotten “a little bit controversial” in the latter part of the summer, and what FiveThirtyEight described as a doubling in unfavorability since August could put an end to any serious thoughts of a Trump-Ramaswamy ticket in 2024.