Vivek Ramaswamy Invited Protesting Student Inside Townhall, Believes They Have a 'Lot in Common'
Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy faced an unexpected but peaceful protest during a SiriusXM town hall at New England College. Gabriel Reynolds, a sophomore at the college, expressed his disagreement through chants and homemade signs, specifically opposing Ramaswamy’s stance on raising the voting age. Despite the audible interruption, Ramaswamy, acknowledging the significance of diverse opinions, took a unique and praiseworthy approach.
Throughout the radio broadcast, Reynolds’ voice echoed outside, demanding change. After the radio segment, Ramaswamy decided to engage further with the protesting student. He invited Reynolds into the town hall.
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During the town hall, Ramaswamy addressed Reynolds, asserting, "Would you like to come in and join us because I’ve noticed you’ve been very vocal through this? I just want you to know that you don’t have to be outside. You’re allowed in." Reynolds, initially hesitant due to the restriction on signs, was assured by Ramaswamy that he could bring in his signs. “I have something to do with that. You can bring in the signs if you want, but who needs to sign when you have your own voice? Come on inside and we will give you a chance to ask a question.”
As Reynolds took a front-row seat for the remainder of the event, he had the opportunity to ask Ramaswamy a question during the town hall. The question focused on Ramaswamy's stance on potential military intervention in Mexico and the impact on citizens' voting rights. “How do you expect to get the American people's support behind an invasion of Mexico to take out the cartels when we could in fact just help them succeed financially and bring them out of deep poverty without the bloodshed of a single American? And how do you expect to gain support for a war like this if you take away our right to vote?”
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Ramaswamy's response highlighted their shared concern for avoiding unnecessary wars, showcasing a surprising common ground. “First of all, if there's an anti-war current in that question, boy, do we share that in common? I mean, the world we're in right now sleepwalking our way into its war in Ukraine which does not advance the U.S. national interest. And there is a bipartisan consensus pushing us further and further into that war. I'm deeply worried that we are inching closer to a major armed conflict with a nuclear power, possibly World War III. So there's one presidential candidate who is anti-war and wants to keep us out of World War III. That's me.”
Sadly, Reynolds left town hall feeling disappointed, describing Ramaswamy’s actions as a mere PR stunt. In an interview with ABC News, Reynolds exclaimed, It felt like a little bit of a PR stunt. "Like my opinions were being trivialized in a way. I appreciated the gesture, but I know that he was just doing it for the camera. And that, yeah, so I'm a bit overwhelmed right now.” While the gesture was seen as positive by some, Reynolds remained critical, feeling that his concerns were only partially addressed. “He answered half of my question. But I still think that he has imperialist influence in Mexico, which is not something that this country shied away from. We see it in our trade deals. We see it with NAFTA in the 1990s leading to the uprising in Chiapas, Our Mexican brothers and sisters. Our American brothers and sisters ... do not need to shed blood over this. I think that there are economic resources that we have available to not have a conflict here.”
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