Vivek Ramaswamy is the latest GOP presidential hopeful to include Orange County in his travel plans leading up to the primary.
Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur who has emerged as a third- or even second-place contender to former President Donald Trump in some polls, has planned appearances in Irvine and Yorba Linda on Thursday, Aug. 17.
It will be at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on Thursday evening where Ramaswamy says he will lay out his “comprehensive foreign policy vision, including on Russia, China, Taiwan, India and other Asian nations.” He teased his foreign policy plan as a move “from neoconservatism and liberal hegemony toward a secure homeland that protects the tangible interests of its citizens.”
“We will support freezing the current lines of control, reopening economic relations with Russia and a hard commitment that NATO will not admit Ukraine in return for Russia exiting its military partnership with China, removing nuclear weapons from Kaliningrad and ending its military presence in the Western Hemisphere — a reverse maneuver of what Nixon accomplished with Mao in 1972,” Ramaswamy, 38, says on his campaign website.
Overall nationally, Ramaswamy is still polling in third; Ramaswamy (7.2%) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (14%) are distantly behind Trump (52.7%), according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections.
But in California, Ramaswamy is at the end of the GOP field. Republican likely voters surveyed by the Public Policy Institute in June picked Trump, DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem ahead of Ramaswamy.
An alumnus of Harvard and Yale Law, Ramaswamy bills himself as an “unapologetic nationalist” and has staunchly defended Trump on the campaign trail. He calls for an “America First” agenda that goes even further than what Trump had proposed, saying on his campaign website: “From reviving our national identity to unleashing our economy and declaring independence from communist China, Vivek’s vision is focused on national revival, not a national divorce.”
Several GOP contenders have already visited Orange County — or plan to in late September for the California Republican Party’s fall convention in Anaheim.
Southern California and particularly Orange County draw in Republican presidential hopefuls not just because of fundraising opportunities but also the state’s role during the primary elections this year. California will hold its presidential primary on March 5, considered to be Super Tuesday, the day when many states hold their elections, and has 169 delegates up for grabs during the GOP primary.
The event at the Nixon Library, part of its Presidential Policy Perspectives on America’s Role in the World speaker series, is set for 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $40.
Earlier Thursday, Ramaswamy will hold a luncheon with the Republican Party of Orange County in Irvine. Tickets range from $150 to $250, with the more expensive option coming with a photo opportunity.