Vivek Ramasamy says he will certify 2020 election results

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said on Sunday that he would have certified the results of the 2020 presidential election, and that then-Vice President Mike Pence had missed a “historic opportunity” to begin the changes on January 6, 2021.

In the absence of Donald Trump in Wednesday’s first GOP presidential debate, Ramasamy, a businessman who closely aligned himself with the former president, took center stage. He launched and received more attacks during the debate, seizing the opportunity to rise from relative obscurity to a significant contender.

Asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd in an interview on “Meet the Press” if Pence had done the right thing on Jan. 6 by certifying the election results, Ramasamy said: “I would have done it very differently. I think he missed a historic opportunity to reunify this country in that window.

“What I would have said is: This is a moment for a real national consensus, where there are two elements necessary for a functioning democracy in America,” he said. “One is a safe election and the other is a peaceful transfer of power. When those things conflict, it’s an opportunity for heroism.

Ramasamy said if Pence had been in office, he would have pushed “reforms” through Congress before certifying the election.

“Here’s what I would have said: ‘We need one day of voting on Election Day, we need paper ballots, we need a government-issued ID card that matches the voter file.’ “If we achieve that, we have achieved victory and we should have no complaints about the integrity of the election. I would have run it through the Senate,” he said.

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“In my capacity as president of the Senate, I would have led through that level of reform, and then certified the election results on that condition and had it signed by the president — President Trump — then into law. On January 7, he announced his re-election campaign in line with free and fair elections,” he said. “I think it’s a missed opportunity.”

David James, a spokesman for Pence’s campaign, criticized Ramasamy’s comments on “Meet the Reporters.”

“Vivek’s statement today January 6th is shocking and the lack of understanding of how our system of government works is disturbing,” James wrote. [sic] He joins Nancy Pelosi and radical progressives in wanting to nationalize our election system, and in another he says the vice president has unilateral authority to decide when to certify elections.”

NBC News pointed to an email Pence’s campaign sent to subscribers following Ramaswamy’s comments.

“Ramasamy flip-flopped and failed in the Jan. 6 issue. His most recent comments, including this morning’s edition of Meet the Press on NBC,” Pence’s campaign said in a statement. “On August 4, 2023, he declined to say he would have certified the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021. Yet at Wednesday’s GOP debate, he raised his hand in support of what Mike Pence has done in following the Constitution. His comments on MTP today.”

In response, Ramasamy’s campaign indicated that he was not tipping his hand in favor of Pence. During the debate, several GOP candidates were asked whether they believed Pence did the right thing on Jan. 6. Sen. Tim Scott, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said he did. Ramasamy was not questioned.

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Earlier this month, Ramasamy reportedly stepped aside when asked through politics If only he had certified the election results, as Pence did following Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, despite Trump’s refusal to concede.

“I will never allow that,” Ramasamy said, according to Politico. “If I had been in a serious leadership position — I would never have allowed myself — or been part of the administration — to get us through that door.”

Later in a “Meet the Press” interview, Ramasamy was asked why he thought he would be an effective leader as someone with less experience than Trump.

“I want to build on the foundation that Trump has laid, and frankly, I’ll call on him as a mentor and a mentor,” the candidate said. “I don’t want to repeat the same lessons. I want to take up where he left off in taking up administrative government.

He had previously indicated he wanted Trump as an adviser, but has reiterated that preference since the former president was accused of conspiring to sway the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. Trump was shot in the mug Thursday night before being released on $200,000 bond in the first of his four impeachments this year.

Ramasamy, 38, also said during a town hall in Newton, Iowa, on Friday that Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, would like to be an adviser to his administration if elected.

“I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Elon Musk, who laid off 75% of his staff at Twitter, and I expect him to be an interesting mentor to me,” he said.

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