‘Hell No’: Stephen A. Smith Rips Ramaswamy’s Proposal to Require Young Adults to Pass a Test to Vote


Stephen A. Smith is not a fan of Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s proposal to require younger Americans to take a civics test before exercising their right to vote.

“We want to restore civic duty in the mindset of the next generation of Americans,” Ramaswamy said in May. “And how we want to do it is to say that if you want to vote as an 18-year-old — between the ages of 18 to 25 — you need to either do your civic duty through service to the country… or else you have to pass the same civics test that an immigrant has to pass in order to become a naturalized citizen who can vote in this country.”

Smith appeared on Friday’s edition of CNN Primetime, where host Abby Phillip asked for his reaction.

“Is that fair?” she asked.

“No, no” he said bluntly. “Excuse my language – hell no. This is America and the reality of the situation is last time I checked, you know, there isn’t a draft taking place to compel you to serve your country. It would be nice if everybody wanted to do it. But in America, you have the freedom to do otherwise. And as far as I’m concerned to have some kind of constitutional amendment that requires you to serve in that capacity, a capacity that he deems fitting, I think is a bit self-serving at this particular moment in time.”

Smith went on to say Ramaswamy is trying to “ingratiate himself with some of the folks on the right.”

The ESPN star revealed he is scheduled to interview the candidate “in a matter of days.”

“I’m glad you brought that up because I’m going to ask him about that,” he added. “I certainly don’t agree with that.”

Smith concluded, “Right now, I think we’re living in an age where we see politicians – particularly when you’re on the campaign trail, you’re willing to say whatever you believe will curry votes. And I think this is one of those examples. I’m not saying he does or does not mean it. I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. I’ve never talked to him. But the bottom line is I find it very, very difficult to believe that you would come out of your mouth and say something like that as a potential elected official in the year 2023 unless you believed it was going to work favorably for you in getting votes.”

Watch above via CNN.

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Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.