A Conversation with Vivek Ramaswamy

May 1, 2024

A Conversation with Vivek Ramaswamy

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In this episode of The American Idea, Jeff Sikkenga, Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center, sits down with Vivek Ramaswamy to discuss the lessons learned from his presidential campaign and his views on America, America’s history, and the values and ideas that animate him.

Gratitude and Personal Growth

Ramaswamy begins by expressing his deep gratitude to the people of the United States and his family for allowing him the opportunity to run for president. He describes the experience as a journey of personal, intellectual, and even spiritual enrichment. He emphasizes that running for president provided him with an opportunity to better understand both the country and himself.

Reflections on the Campaign

Reflecting on his campaign, Ramaswamy acknowledges that there were many things he would do differently if given the chance. He admits that at times, his competitive instincts took over, turning the campaign into what felt like a “blood sport.” However, he realized that his motivation for running was not solely based on competition but stemmed from a genuine concern for the future of the country.

Finding Purpose in Principles

Ramaswamy emphasizes the importance of fundamental principles in guiding public officials. He draws on his faith, upbringing, and the principles enshrined in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as the foundation for his beliefs and actions.

Lessons from History

Ramaswamy emphasizes the importance of studying history and understanding the sacrifices made by the country’s founders. He believes that by following the principles they established, Americans can honor their legacy and ensure the continued success of the nation.

Favorite Person in U.S. History

When asked to choose a favorite person in U.S. history, Ramaswamy selects Thomas Jefferson. He admires Jefferson for his intellectual curiosity, his contributions to political philosophy, and his daring acts as a statesman.


In conclusion, Ramaswamy reflects on the importance of intellectual and principled leadership in shaping the future of the country. He expresses optimism about the future, believing that with the right education and leadership, America can continue to uphold its founding principles, benefitting future generations and paying respect to those who have come before us.