Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy when asked if he would consider the 38-year-old biotech engineer as a running mate.
“I think he’s great,” Mr. Trump told conservative talk show host Glenn Beck. “Look, anybody that’s said I’m the best president in a generation … and he said it a couple of times … I have to like a guy like that.”
During the interview, Mr. Trump openly discussed his thoughts on the presidential candidacy of Mr. Ramaswamy, indicating his receptiveness to a youthful and comparatively unestablished candidate who could bring a fresh perspective to Washington.
Mr. Trump, considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, described Mr. Ramaswamy as “smart,” “young,” and “got a lot of talent.”
When asked about the possibility of a “Vice President Ramaswamy,” Mr. Trump responded affirmatively, saying, “He’s a very, very, very intelligent person. He’s got good energy, and he could be some form of something. I tell you, I think he’d be very good. I think he’s very good. I think he’s really distinguished himself.”
The timing of Mr. Trump’s remarks is noteworthy, as they come shortly after the first GOP debate, where he opted not to participate but pledged to observe for potential vice presidential contenders.
The former president’s interest in Mr. Ramaswamy adds a layer of intrigue to the unfolding political landscape, especially given Mr. Ramaswamy’s rapid rise from an unknown long-shot candidate with a mere 1 percent polling support to a serious contender who has been attracting attention from prominent GOP figures.
While Mr. Trump has signaled his appreciation for Mr. Ramaswamy’s potential as a running mate, he also voiced some caution regarding the entrepreneur’s tendency to court controversy. In the same interview, Mr. Trump expressed advice for Mr. Ramaswamy to exercise discretion.
“He’s starting to get out there a little bit. He’s getting a little bit controversial. I got to tell him to be a little bit careful. Some things you have to hold in just a little bit, right?” Mr. Trump said. “But he’s got a lot of good energy.”
Despite Mr. Trump’s praise, Mr. Ramaswamy has previously told NewsNation that he would not accept being the former president’s vice president.
“I don’t do well in a No. 2, so I’d be about as likely to accept it as he would be to accept my offer to be my vice president,” Mr. Ramaswamy said earlier this month. “It’s a ‘no.’”
Other GOP contenders have criticized Mr. Ramaswamy, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Ms. Haley sparred with him during the GOP primary debate, challenging his foreign policy experience. Former Vice President Mike Pence has criticized Mr. Ramaswamy’s age and foreign policy stances.
“I think there’s a great deal of alignment between my former running mate and Vivek and so for my part, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that he’s been complimentary of him in that way,” Mr. Pence said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Mr. Christie has described Mr. Ramaswamy as the “worst of what politicians are characterized to be.” Mr. Christie took aim at Mr. Ramaswamy for saying “one thing” but doing another.
“And then when you call them, like I did, on the negative things he said about Donald Trump on Jan. 6, in his book, he didn’t say it,” Mr. Christie told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“If you believe Donald Trump was the greatest president of the 21th century, which is what Vivek said on the stage, then what the hell are you doing running against him?” he added. “The fact is that Vivek says one thing, does another.”