Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his 2024 presidential campaign and endorsed former President Trump earlier this week, but I will tell you a story about Vivek that I think says a lot about him.
I knew him on a personal level before he ran for president because I helped him promote his books and such. I was critical of his campaign when I disagreed with him, like when he made comments about September 11.
I hit him hard on that because I thought that was absurd. I didn’t like the conspiratorial stuff. Let’s just say we’ve had a couple of private text exchanges about it, which have been fine. He’s not mad, and I don’t back down in my positions either.
Interviewing Vivek Ramaswamy
But I’ll tell you: I invited Vivek to be a guest on our special live edition of The Megyn Kelly Show after the third GOP primary debate that I co-moderated last month in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He said yes right away.
He was on set with me and my team for all of eight minutes when all was said and done, but the time was telling. Not only did he come on and was very gracious to me and gave me the interview, but everyone who touched him – the audio technician who put the mic on him, the guy who made sure he could hear with the earphones, the cameraman, my hair makeup team that had to make sure he was camera ready – felt the same way.
The hairstylists and makeup artists are the best to ask the opinions of because they see so many people. They have a much wider sampling of humanity than you or I probably do. My hairstylist, who is also my friend, told me he was so gracious and kind to everyone and tried to learn people’s names.
Canadian Debbie, one of my executive producers, was responsible for finding Vivek after the debate and getting him to our set. He went to the wrong stage and she had to go up and get him. She said he immediately recognized her and apologized. He was like, ‘Debbie, I’m so sorry. I was lost.’
He was lost because he came by himself. He didn’t have a team of people surrounding him. He didn’t need an entourage. All of that stuff is to the guy’s credit. I really do hope that he’s got a long future in politics… though I don’t want to hear any more about 9/11.
Weak vs. Strong Politicians
It’s like, even if you hit them, even if they recognize you might not be totally in their camp, I think the great politicians can get past it, can give you an interview, can be polite, and can understand the nature of journalism and how it works. It can’t be too friendly, otherwise it stinks and the interviews get no pickup.
Once you see somebody is in the tank for a person, how much do you trust them? If you want that as your news product, then go get that. If you want that for Trump, go listen to Steve Bannon every day. If you want that for Vivek, go listen to Tim Pool every day. There’s nothing wrong with what those guys do. It’s just a different product.
All of this is to say, I have respect for all the candidates on the Republican side and their willingness to answer tough questions. I don’t have respect for the other side. Joe Biden would never sit for an interview with me. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t either. As Hillary was out there in 2015 and 2016 saying I was a terrific journalist because I had this contentious exchange with Trump, never once did she agree to sit with me because she quite literally – and figuratively – did not have the balls.
There’s my little rant about our weak politicians and our strong ones.
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 704 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.