GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy: U.S. Must Refocus Foreign Policy on Drug Cartels, China, Instead of Ukraine

Vivek Ramaswamy 2
Vivek Ramaswamy /

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire – Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy shared a plan Wednesday to stop spending money in Ukraine and “reprioritize” foreign policy focus to take on China economically and the Mexican drug cartels militarily, using “airstrikes, drone strikes” and “special forces” to create “shock and awe.”

During a round table luncheon at City Hall in Rochester, New Hampshire, with local officials, and business and non-profit leaders, Ramaswamy identified the most pressing foreign policy issues facing the United States as economic dependence on China and drug cartels trafficking fentanyl into America.

Ramaswamy first focused on communist China,  laying out a plan to “pull the economic rug from under them” and avert a potential military conflict down the road.

“I think we have an opportunity to defeat China economically now so that we do not have to defeat them military later. I believe that deep in my bones,” said Ramaswamy. “I am running for president because I think we have a short window to do it. Xi Jinping has shot himself in the foot, as autocrats sometimes do, to take his third term last October.”

“He’s given us a gift. They’re vulnerable right now. You pull the economic rug out from under them, yeah, it’s going to be a little bit inconvenient for us, it’s going to be worse for them. That’s our chance,” he emphasized. “We got the ball game sitting in front of us. And yet here we are, bystanders watching meekly, letting a balloon float over half the United States before we shoot it down. If that had been a Russian spy balloon, we’d have shot it down, ratcheted up sanctions. The only reason we didn’t is because we’re afraid of our economic dependence in China.”

Later, the candidate added that he worries that “the combination of our aggressive policy to Russia with a meek policy to China is driving Russia into China’s hands,” asserting “that’s a formula for ultimate disaster.”

After his initial focus on China, Ramswamy zoned in on cartels.

“If somebody gives me a good answer why I can’t do this, I’m always open-minded, but my plan as president would be to go in, use the military to decimate the cartels,” Ramswamy said. “We have a failed narco-state south of the Texas border that is pumping in fentanyl that’s responsible for – I’m not making up this number – 100,000 deaths, at least 80 percent of which are the consequence of crossings at the southern border,” he added.

He noted that the problem is “related to China,” as it’s “pumping cheap raw materials” for fentanyl production into the cartels’ hands, driving their profit margins up.

When a local businessman asked Ramswamy how he intends to “decimate” the cartels, the candidate said he would use “[a]irstrikes, drone strikes,” and “special forces.”

“Go Bin Laden, go Soleimani on this thing,” he added. “If this was on the other side of the world, we’d already be doing it, so why wouldn’t we do it if it’s just south of our own border? If the U.S. military has one job, it is to protect the soil that we live on here in the United States.”

“So that I think is a top military, foreign policy priority that we can deliver for less than ten percent of what we spent in Ukraine, less than ten billion dollars,” he went on to add. “And I think it’s got to be one cycle because this then becomes a lot harder if there’s a cycle of adaptation where the cartels then adapt. No, It’s got to be one cycle, shock and awe; decimation.”

He later added that if he is elected, “[w]e’re done spending money in Ukraine, and we reprioritize our focus on the top two foreign policy priorities that matter.”


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