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Trump Attacks Ramaswamy in Shocking Switch-Up Before Iowa

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In a dramatic turn of events, former President Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on his once-allied rival, Vivek Ramaswamy, just days before the highly anticipated Iowa caucuses. 

With the political landscape already buzzing with anticipation, Trump’s unexpected shift in strategy has sent shockwaves through the nation. 

After praising Ramaswamy’s debate performances for weeks, Trump has suddenly turned on him, warning supporters to not “get duped” by the fast-rising political newcomer. He even went as far as saying that Vivek uses “deceitful” campaign tricks, as well as adding that he is “not MAGA.”

As he arrives in Iowa, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Why would Trump attack his biggest supporter? And why now – right before the Iowa caucus?

In a shocking development, former President Donald Trump has just turned on his biggest supporter and GOP rival, Vivek Ramaswamy, just days before the highly anticipated Iowa caucuses, in what seems to be a complete shift in strategy.

After praising Ramaswamy for weeks and fueling speculation he could be Trump’s running mate, the president’s abrupt decision to label him “not MAGA” and accuse him of “deceitful tricks” has stunned political observers.

It signals an ugly new chapter of GOP infighting that threatens party unity and voter turnout as freezing temperatures already jeopardize projections in Iowa.

In a post on his own social media platform, Truth Social, Trump went all in on Vivek Ramaswamy.

He wrote: “Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, “the best President in generations,” etcetera. Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks. Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the “other side” — don’t get duped by this. Vote for “TRUMP,” don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA. The Biden Indictments against his Political Opponent will never be allowed in this Country, they are already beginning to fall!”

This is the first time the former president has attacked Ramaswamy so aggressively.

According to Trump’s advisers, this outburst was sparked specifically by a post Ramaswamy made on Saturday showing supporters in “Save Trump, Vote Vivek” t-shirts depicting Trump’s mugshot.

This image outraged Trump and his team, who saw it as a step too far for someone claiming to be an ally. 

While Ramaswamy had made veiled criticisms of Trump’s legal vulnerabilities recently, he had generally avoided direct hits. His continued praise of Trump’s policies on the campaign trail also gave the appearance of a friendly rivalry.

But Trump felt Ramaswamy had been subtly undermining his candidacy all along while keeping up the pretense of admiration.

The mugshot post was the final straw that convinced him that Ramaswamy had betrayed him and could no longer be tolerated or ignored as a minor nuisance.

According to advisers, the former president believes Ramaswamy has been disingenuously playing both sides – touting Trump policies to appease MAGA supporters while signaling opposition to Trump’s leadership to anti-Trump segments of the party.

In Trump’s view, the mugshot T-shirts exposed Ramaswamy’s true intentions to capitalize on Trump’s troubles while masquerading as his ally. By unleashing his fury, Trump is attempting to decisively halt Ramaswamy’s two-faced strategy in its tracks and squash any momentum he has built.

This eruption of hostilities demonstrates how paranoid Trump remains about potential rivals and how quickly his wrath can be provoked by even the slightest perception of betrayal, which left many surprised.

But in all honesty, I honestly would’ve been surprised if he hadn’t done anything at all in response, knowing Trump.

With Trump already on edge from their rising tensions, Ramaswamy’s perceived stunt sent Trump over the edge and signaled the end of his patience. Their informal alliance is the first major casualty.

Trump’s team was also irked by an interview Ramaswamy recently gave to NBC and The Des Moines Register. In the interview, Ramaswamy repeatedly called Trump “wounded” and suggested he was not capable of advancing Trump’s agenda due to his legal vulnerabilities, claiming “They don’t have on me what they have on him.”

Ramaswamy asserted that he could implement Trump’s policies more effectively since he does not face the same legal scrutiny. These comments angered Trump’s camp, who felt Ramaswamy was insulting Trump and downplaying his strengths.

One Trump advisor said “If you poke the bear, the bear will bite back,” meaning that by provoking Trump, Ramaswamy should have expected retaliation. They viewed Ramaswamy’s interview statements as disrespectful jabs at Trump that would inevitably draw his ire.

The interview added further fuel to the tensions, convincing Trump’s team that Ramaswamy was overtly patronizing and insulting Trump under the guise of friendship. 

In their view, Ramaswamy’s subtle digs had crossed the line into open hostility, hence Trump’s forceful public rebuke of his campaign.

Ramaswamy’s longshot candidacy does reflect hunger among some Republicans for fresh voices. But by attacking Trump, he risks a backlash from the still-formidable MAGA base wedded to Trump’s leadership. 

In fact, Ramaswamy posted a carefully crafted response on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, explaining his stance.

Vivek seeks to take the high road in his social media reply, refusing to return Trump’s “friendly fire” with attacks of his own. He likely realizes further inflaming tensions will only hurt his long-shot bid. So instead, he doubles down on sounding the alarm about forces he believes are conspiring to block Trump from power.

His repeated declarations of supporting and defending Trump seem aimed at damage control with pro-Trump voters. Vivek knows he needs to reinforce his MAGA credentials after Trump deemed him as “not MAGA.”

But he also subtly sticks to his narrative that Trump is in political peril.

“I’ve met tens of thousands of Iowans across 390+ events here, and they are deeply worried – and so am I – that this “system” won’t allow Donald J. Trump anywhere near the White House again. It seems they will stop at nothing to keep him away from power,” he wrote.

Vivek tries to validate concerns from voters that Trump is vulnerable while preserving a veneer of loyalty, even going as far as saying that he’s “worried” for both Trump, and our country.

Vivek also argued that people need to recognize the forces working against Trump. He points out that last time, Trump was targeted by the pandemic and Big Tech interfering in the election. Now, Vivek claims the same billionaires funding lawsuits against Trump are trying to boost Nikki Haley’s campaign. He also says the mainstream media attacking Trump is simultaneously praising Haley.

In Vivek’s view, the plan is to narrow the field to just Trump and Haley, remove Trump through legal action or other means, and then pave the way for Haley to win the nomination.

Vivek warns that this would be a trap and says supporters cannot let this happen. He believes it would be a mistake to act shocked if Trump is taken out later in the race. Vivek argues the movement needs to take action now to stop this supposed scheme against Trump.

Overall, Vivek seems to be threading a delicate needle – acknowledging Trump’s broadsides but avoiding counterattacks, touting his own candidacy as a safety net rather than threat to Trump. 

The mild tone contrasts Trump’s nuclear blast and likely represents Vivek’s best hope of minimizing long-term damage of their split.

He is calculating that by blaming vague external forces rather than Trump himself, he can prevent a complete break from pro-Trump crowd. But his insistence that the movement must live on beyond one man rings of a gentle succession call.

And the timing is impeccable, with the Iowa caucuses right around the corner.

The Iowa caucuses now become a critical proving ground for the dueling candidates.

Trump wants an overwhelming win to demonstrate he remains in total command. Ramaswamy needs an upset to vault him into contention and prove disaffection with Trump.

If Ramaswamy falls flat, his bold gambit implodes. But if he exceeds expectations, it suggests Trump has vulnerabilities that better-funded, more mainstream Republicans could exploit. Either way, this pre-Iowa meltdown signifies a party in turmoil.

Ramaswamy must tread carefully as he walks the tightrope of campaigning his own candidacy while not completely alienating Trump devotees. His nuanced criticisms of Trump’s leadership have now erupted into open warfare.

Too strong an anti-Trump posture could provoke a fierce backlash. But with polls showing him gaining traction, Ramaswamy is betting a vocal segment of Republicans want change. Iowa will prove if he has the political skill to thread the needle.

One clear winner from this ugly public spat is the Democratic Party, who see Republicans imploding ahead of a crucial election. Trump and Ramaswamy are indifferent, however, caught up in their own power struggle.

With Democrats facing their own divisions, this GOP infighting detracts from the mission of winning back power. But neither candidate can back down now that their rivalry has turned personal. 

Despite the risks, Ramaswamy emerges from this clash with a far higher national profile. Overnight he has gone from an obscure businessman to a household name now central to the election narrative.

And his eloquent, calm response to the former president’s attacks prove that he does have what it takes to someday be present.

Trump’s attacks will bring him media buzz and donor attention. But Ramaswamy’s actual political skills remain unproven outside boardrooms and TV studios.

Most analysts still see the former president as the heavy favorite for the nomination, but only time will tell who will actually win big in Iowa.

The fact such a lightly-regarded figure like Ramaswamy now draws Trump’s public fury reveals creeping uncertainties. It may accelerate the willingness of stronger contenders like DeSantis to challenge Trump as a weakened front-runner vulnerable to insurgencies.

The Iowa caucuses were always going to be closely watched, but this bitter feud has raised the stakes. 

Voters now have a chance to weigh in on the party’s direction and leadership at this early crossroads.

A Ramaswamy surge would rattle Trump’s frontrunner status to the core. But an embarrassingly poor showing from Ramaswamy could end his crusade before it gains momentum.

Either way, Iowa Republicans suddenly have an outsized chance to reshape the 2024 race.

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