Vivek Ramaswamy ends US presidential bid, endorses Donald Trump as 'best president of 21st century'

US presidential election 2024: Vivek Ramaswamy announced his Republican presidential candidacy after a disappointing result in Iowa, his spokesman said, as quoted by the news agency AFP.

Ramaswamy, 38, supported his rival, former President Donald Trump. He previously called Trump the “best president of the 21st century” even as he tried to convince Republican voters that they should opt for “fresh legs” and “take our America First agenda to the next level.”

The wealthy political outsider also based his application on Trump's candidacy and appeared as a fast-talking, headline-grabbing populist who relentlessly targeted his opponents.

Donald Trump secured a landslide victory in Iowa on Monday in the first Republican presidential primary of 2024, asserting his dominance over the party despite a litany of legal problems as he seeks a rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden. Reuters reported.

“THANK YOU IOWA, I LOVE YOU ALL!!!” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.

Ramaswamy also supported Trump when the former US president tried to retake the White House in November.

“I have looked at everything in all directions and I think it is true that tonight we did not manage to deliver the surprise that we wanted to deliver… From this moment on we will suspend this presidential campaign. “There is no way for me to become the next president,” Ramaswamy said, as quoted by PTI.

“As I have said from the beginning, there are two America First candidates in this race. And tonight I called Donald Trump to tell him that I congratulate him on his victory and that you will now have my full support for the presidency,” he added.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in a distant second, Edison Research predicted, edging out former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley as they battled to become the main alternative to Trump.

With nearly 90% of expected votes, Trump got 50.9%, DeSantis got 21.4% and Haley got 19.0%, according to Edison. The largest Republican margin of victory in Iowa was 12.8 percentage points for Bob Dole in 1988.

It's too early to say whether Trump would cross the 50 percent mark, a psychological figure that would further weaken his rivals' argument that his march to the nomination could fail, they say Reuters Reports.

Both DeSantis and Haley had sought a strong second place finish to convince donors and supporters that their challenges to Trump remain viable.

Trump has aimed to create an atmosphere of inevitability in his campaign by skipping all five Republican debates so far and largely eschewing the district-by-district politics that most candidates engage in ahead of the Iowa vote .

(With contributions from agencies)

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