WATCH: Vivek Ramaswamy’s NBC Hit Goes Sideways After He Says Pence Missed Chance to ‘Reunite This Country’ By Not Overturning 2020 Election
The 17-minute interview between NBC’s Chuck Todd and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy turned into a major melee when the latter criticized Mike Pence for certifying the 2020 election results on Jan. 6.
Ramaswamy took questions on Meet the Press about yesterday’s racially-motivated shooting in Florida, plus Ramaswamy’s constant Donald Trump sycophancy throughout his campaign. Todd noted that, during last week’s GOP debate, Ramaswamy never answered whether he thought the former vice president did “the right thing” by defying Trump and certifying his election loss on the day the ex-president’s supporters violently laid siege to Congress.
Ramaswamy answered by arguing Pence blew a chance he had to implement voting reform:
I would have done it very differently. I think that there was a historic opportunity that he missed to reunite this country in that window. What I would have said is, “This is a moment for a true national consensus,” where there’s two elements of what’s required for a functioning democracy in America.
One is secure elections, and the second is a peaceful transfer of power. When those things come into conflict, that’s an opportunity for heroism. Here’s what I would have said, “We need single-day voting on Election Day. We need paper ballots, and we need government-issued ID matching the voter file. And if we achieve that, then we have achieved victory, and we should not have any further complaint about election integrity.”
This prompted Todd to ask “So, what would you have done as Mike Pence? You would have not certified the election?”
Ramaswamy confirmed that he would have overturned the election.
“In my capacity as president of the Senate,” Ramaswamy said, “I would have led through that level of reform, then, on that condition, certified the election results, served it up to President Trump then, to sign that into law, and on January 7th, declared the reelection campaign pursuant to a free and fair election. I think that was a missed opportunity.”
From there, Todd brought up Ramaswamy’s book, Nation of Victims, noting that “You wrote ‘The fact that all of our governmental institutions so unanimously found no evidence of significant fraud is telling. Furthermore, I’ve talked to many Republicans at all levels of government, and not one has ever presented convincing evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from President Trump. Very few have seriously tried. I don’t believe that most Republican politicians actually think the election was stolen.'”
Ramaswamy answered by comparing the lack of mass voter fraud evidence to the amount of people who say they would’ve changed their 2020 votes if the Hunter Biden laptop controversy hadn’t been suppressed. The two clashed on whether the book actually addressed the tech elements Ramaswamy claimed, which led to Todd reciting the passage “‘We use stolen election theories as a back door to embracing our own victim identity path, pursuing an easy path to power.'”
Throughout this entire book, you mock the entire January 6th aspect. You absolutely criticize Donald Trump for being a sore loser. You write about it in a way of making your point that you think we’ve become a nation of victims. And right now, on TV, you’re doing the exact opposite.
And here’s the third confrontation they had on Ramaswamy’s book:
TODD: let me go back to quoting you. “The Republican Party seems to be moving towards the position that any races it wins are legitimate and any it loses were stolen. It’s just the preferred conservative brand of victimhood, a knee-jerk kind of sore losing more common to playgrounds than great republics.”
You seem to, at the time you wrote your book, believe this was potentially damaging to the rule of law, this was not a way to have a democracy thrive. And you’re now speaking in a way that gives, essentially, a permission slip to election deniers to believe there’s some truth to something that you yourself have yet to find evidence of.
RAMASWAMY: Chuck, I stand by everything I said. That was a book where 11 of the 12 chapters were dedicated to a lot of left-wing victimhood in this country. But it would have been incomplete for me not to call out my own tribe. And my point is I don’t want to see this in terms of red versus blue.
We’ve created an incentive structure in this country, whoever you are, whatever your skin color, increasingly whatever your political affiliation, to see yourself as a victim. I refuse to see myself as a victim. Hardship is not the same thing as victimhood.
We are going through hardship as a country right now, including many conservatives. Hardship is sometimes not a choice. Victimhood is a choice. And so, whoever the American is that I’m talking to, I say we do not choose victimhood. We choose victory. That is who we are. And I think we can be stronger on the other side of it. So, Chuck, this isn’t some game of gotcha. I stand by everything I’ve written over the last three years in the books.
Watch above via NBC.
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