Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy captured some attention — and the ire of his GOP rivals — during the first presidential debate. And some of his controversial positions and comments have continued to grab headlines, including his immigration policies.
In a new interview with NBC News, Ramaswamy details his family’s own immigrant story as he pushes hardline policies on the campaign trail, per NBC’s Katherine Koretski, Dasha Burns, Abigail Brooks and Emma Barnett
Ramaswamy has pushed for 18-24 year olds to pass a civics test, similar to a citizenship test, before being allowed to vote. Despite previously saying his parents took the citizenship test, he clarified to NBC News that his father is not a citizen and did not take the test “for familial reasons.”
Ramaswamy also personally benefited from birthright citizenship, becoming a citizen when he was born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents who immigrated legally. On the campaign trail, he has pushed for eliminating birthright citizenship for children born of undocumented immigrants.
The interview also shed some light on Ramaswamy’s style on the campaign trail, and he admitted his responses to questions during forums are often “off the cuff.”
“On the things that matter, I am sharing my honest and true convictions,” Ramaswamy said when asked if he says what he means. “Not everything I say is a policy priority.”
Read more about the Ramaswamy interview on NBCNews.com.
In other campaign news …
Abortion politics: Trump is getting heat from all sides for his abortion position, per NBC’s Sahil Kapur, as Democrats accuse him of wanting to go further to restrict abortion than he’s now saying he would, and some of his GOP rivals criticize him for not being conservative enough on the issue.
Trump on the trail: As he campaigned in Iowa Wednesday, Trump laid out some planks of his immigration platform, which “foreshadows a greater use of executive branch powers and law enforcement resources, which the president could have a greater hand in directing,” write NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard, Jake Traylor and Dan Gallo.
Crime claim: DeSantis’ claim that Florida’s crime rate is at a 50-year low is based on incomplete data, and three former officials with Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement say the department’s leadership was warned that the numbers were “bad” but “they did not care,” NBC’s Matt Dixon reports.
DeSantis on the record: DeSantis sat down for a wide-ranging interview with ABC News, where he discussed Trump, abortion, his immigration and energy policies, his standoff with Disney, new Covid vaccines, and GOP megadonor Ken Griffin staying out of the primary despite backing DeSantis’ re-election.
Veepstakes: South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott discussed his potential vice presidential picks during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, per NBC’s Nnamdi Egwuonwu and Emma Barnett.
The Haley bump: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has seen her support in Fox Business’ Iowa poll jump from 5% in July to 11% in a new poll released Wednesday.
All that glitters is gold: NBC News’ Jonathan Dienst and Courtney Copenhagen report that “Federal prosecutors are looking into whether an admitted felon helped arrange to give gold bars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez or his wife in exchange for help.”
This jawn’s running, youse guys: Pennsylvania Republican David McCormick is expected to announce his Senate bid Thursday evening, per the Associated Press, setting up a possible high-profile clash with Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.
If you’re gonna play in Texas: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told conservative commentator Tucker Carlson that “everything’s on the table” when asked whether he’d mount a primary bid against GOP Sen. John Cornyn in 2026.
Beshear camp criticizes Cameron on abortion: A new ad from Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear features a sexual abuse survivor criticizing his GOP opponent, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, for his past support for legislation that didn’t allow abortion access to rape and incest victims.