Vivek Ramaswamy Says Upset Protestors Crashed His Car in Iowa, Police Claim It Wasn’t ‘Intentional'
Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign faced a dramatic turn of events when his campaign vehicle was hit in Iowa. While the campaign asserts that it was a deliberate act by angry protestors, police statements suggest that it might have been nothing more than an unfortunate incident involving an unconnected driver.
The accident occurred in the central Iowa city of Grinnell, where Ramaswamy was scheduled for an interview and a subsequent campaign event. According to the campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin, “(Ramaswamy) is used to dealing with protesters and handled it very calmly. So he was maybe a little more calm about it than the rest of us.” As per Ramaswamy’s campaign, protestors were enraged by his remarks opposing aid for Ukraine. They confronted him before at least one of them jumped into a vehicle, and rammed into his empty campaign car before hastily departing.
As per AP News, the police account, however, contradicts the campaign’s narrative. "(The driver) stated she was not in the area to protest, she did not know who the vehicle she struck belonged to, she did not intentionally back into the vehicle, and she did not flee the scene of the accident," according to the release. “They’re not supposed to be parked there,” Police Chief Michael McClelland told The Scarlet & Black. “And I don’t believe they told Officer (Dalton Kies) they were parked there during the accident.”
The accident resulted in minor damage to both vehicles, and the woman received a traffic summons for unsafe backing. McLaughlin, affirmed the campaign's stance, maintaining that the collision was a deliberate act by protesters. “Prior to the protestors ramming their car they continually laid on the horn, flipped staff off, and screamed expletives (it appeared in efforts to create a commotion.) It seemed like the protestor couldn’t stay at the event or didn’t want to and wanted to make a statement. (Though I can’t assign motivations.) The driver began to drive off but stopped suddenly after staffers chased after, to get insurance information.”
Had a civil exchange with protestors today, right before two of them then got into their car & rammed it into ours. Those two should be held accountable, but the rest of the peaceful protestors shouldn’t be tarred by the behavior of two bad actors. https://t.co/AePWupLDEj— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) October 5, 2023
According to the Des Moines Register, On the other hand, Ramaswamy’s campaign released a statement reiterating that the Grinnell Police Department never contacted it, asserting, “Without contacting anyone on Vivek’s campaign, or speaking to eyewitnesses including the campaign security guard, or reviewing video footage obtained by witnesses, the Grinnell Police Department this evening issued a statement suggesting that the individuals who rammed the SUV were not protestors,"
The statement continued, "This is puzzling since video and photo evidence, along with eyewitness accounts — including the campaign’s security guard — confirm that the individuals were standing side-by-side with protestors before entering their car, used profane gestures and language and shouted from the car, and honked their car horn as they reversed their vehicle into the campaign SUV.”
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Despite the diverging narratives, Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur and author, characterized the incident in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). He claimed, “Had a civil exchange with protestors today, right before two of them then got into their car & rammed it into ours, Those two should be held accountable, but the rest of the peaceful protestors shouldn’t be tarred by the behavior of two bad actors.”
In response to the police investigation, McLaughlin expressed confidence in the campaign's version of events. “I’m confident of what happened. I was there.” However, the police findings raise questions about the accuracy of the initial report, potentially adding a layer of complexity to the situation.
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