Fox News seems to be putting its latest political chips on Vivek Ramaswamy, another Republican businessman candidate with a dubious history of success.
The Daily Beast reported about Fox’s pivot away from Ron DeSantis and toward Ramaswamy:
Over the past week, Fox News has mentioned Ramaswamy at least 200 times, according to media monitoring service TVEyes. He’s also appeared for a half-dozen interviews, during which the network has applauded his rising popularity or gushed over his “respectful” handling of an interaction with a pansexual activist at the Iowa State Fair. Fox hosts simply cannot get over Ramaswamy’s ability to rap Eminem lyrics, believing he tapped into “music that really appeals to Gen-Z’ers.”
Fox & Friends has seemingly set the tone for the network’s shift away from DeSantis in its quest for an electable GOP hopeful who isn’t the quadruply indicted Trump (especially as he skips the Fox-hosted debate and rages against Rupert Murdoch for being insufficiently loyal to him).
While repeatedly declaring Ramaswamy “brilliant” and hammering away at DeSantis’ embarrassing debate prep, the Friends crew declared that Vivek has the “perfect message”—e.g., he’s a young guy who likes everything Trump did and wants the twice-impeached ex-president as a mentor. Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins helpfully revealed that his 91-year-old mother is “really impressed” by Ramaswamy, who has played footsie with 9/11 trutherism.
Host Neil Cavuto seemed less impressed, though he never came close to anything confrontational. “You have brilliantly kind of threaded the needle with, you know, supporting Donald Trump,” he began, pointing out how Ramaswamy has praised Trump as “the best of this last century” but that Ramaswamy “didn’t flip over” either Jan. 6 or Trump’s personal actions. “Bottom line, his supporters think a great deal of you but that could change,” Cavuto warned, “and your rise in the polls could change the former president’s view of you. Are you worried about that?”
Ramaswamy gave a glib answer: “I think we have to, as a party, stop talking less about the who, more about the what and the why,” he said, shortly before claiming that the “administrative state, the deep state” “actually drains the life blood out of a three-branch constitutional republic.” He further claimed that his goal of destroying it will lead him to “win this election in a landslide.”
Cavuto did not seem persuaded. Instead of probing that “winning” strategy, he moved on to challenge Ramaswamy about his business career. Cavuto asked about two former employees who filed lawsuits against Ramaswamy’s former firm. They've alleged, as Cavuto put it, “the business practices didn’t match up with sort of the rhetoric. They also suggest that companies struggled to meet some lofty goals.”
Ramaswamy called the suits “totally laughable,” adding, “it’s funny how you see how the attacks leading up as my rise in the polls continues.” He said the company he cofounded, Strive Asset Management, earned “right around a billion dollars in assets under management about a year after I founded, after we launched that first fund when I was leading the firm.”
He also claimed, “When you fire underperforming employees, they strike back with their own narratives.” Then he quickly pivoted to promising to fire 75% of the U.S. federal government. “A lot of underperformers, they’re not going to be happy with that,” he boasted.
But Cavuto pressed further about the lawsuits. He said the employees allege that “not a lot of thought was given to running your investment firm as an investment firm, that it was a PR mechanism for the presidential campaign.”
Ramaswamy responded, “It’s another total lie from underperforming employees.” In a misguided attempt to look presidential, Ramaswamy misquoted Harry Truman (a Democrat), saying, “If you can’t handle the heat, you stay out of the kitchen.”
“I’ve had such great success, frankly, in leading a business that delivered five FDA-approved medicines to actually build a multi-billion-dollar biotech company from scratch,” Ramaswamy continued. “Launching Strive to compete against Black Rock, getting to a billion dollars in assets under management in a year when J.P. Morgan took two years to get to the same place. Really changing behaviors in corporate America’s boardrooms, getting them to focus less on toxic politics and more on making profits for shareholders.”
Cavuto said Ramaswamy is “certainly resonating in the polls,” then asked if he wants to be vice president.”
No, he doesn’t. Ramaswamy said he and Trump don’t do well “in a number two position.”
Despite bragging that he is not “beholden to donor masters” thanks to his fortune, virtually all of Ramaswamy’s companies operate in the red, and none have ever turned a profit consistently. His flagship holding company, Roivant, has never once turned a profit since going public, losing $433 million in 2020, $698 million in 2021, and a whopping $1.12 billion in 2022, with Bloomberg predicting another $1.03 billion in losses in 2023.
As we have shown previously, another one of Ramaswamy’s flagship ventures, Strive Asset Management, is stagnating with its largest ETF, the Strive US Energy ETF (DRLL), having less AUM today than it did when it was launched in August/September 2022. Its AUM is down nearly 25% from the start of this year alone, and Strive’s so-called activist campaigns are laughed off by CEOs who think it is a bad joke.
To be sure, many companies operate in the red for prolonged periods of time–Amazon went 20 years before turning a profit. But what this means is that these money-losing companies are continually dependent on new investor funding coming in–or else they die. Thus, far from being self-reliant and self-funding, Ramaswamy needs genuine billionaires to sustain his cash-burning enterprises.
But don’t expect to hear the full truth on Fox News – that is, unless the Murdochs and the network decide someone else is their “it” candidate.
You can watch Fox News’ latest great right hope below, from the August 19, 2023 Cavuto Live.