Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy pledged on Tuesday to remove himself from Colorado’s Republican primary ballot in response to the state’s Supreme Court’s ruling that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to run in the state over his activity surrounding Jan. 6.
Ramaswamy promised to stay off the ballot until Trump’s eligibility is restored. He called upon his and Trump’s 2024 GOP primary opponents to take the same steps.
“I pledge to withdraw from the Colorado GOP primary ballot until Trump is also allowed to be on the ballot, and I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Nikki Haley do the same immediately – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country,” Ramaswamy said in a statement.
Ramaswamy’s statements came shortly after the Colorado Supreme Court decided on Tuesday evening that Trump is disqualified from running for the GOP presidential nomination in their state because he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says former officeholders cannot run again if they’ve engaged in insurrection against the U.S.
Colorado’s high court said Trump engaged in insurrection due to his activity surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A Trump spokesperson said they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Shortly before pledging to remove himself from Colorado’s primary ballot in solidarity with Trump, Ramaswamy told ABC News that while it would admittedly be easier to win without the front-runner in the race, the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling against the former president strikes him as “appalling for the future of our country.”
“And to tell you the truth, it would be a lot easier for me to get elected if Trump wasn’t in this race, but that’s not – it’s not about me, and it’s not about another candidate,” Ramaswamy said, speaking to ABC News after his campaign event in Garner, Iowa. “This is wrong. And I think that this is a flagrant violation of the rule of law.”
Later, in Mason City, Iowa, at his seventh and final event of the day on Tuesday, Ramaswamy told a packed bar of voters of his opposition to the court’s decision.
Asked by ABC News later how withdrawing from the ballot will affect his path to the nomination (there are 37 Republican delegates up for grabs in Colorado), Ramaswamy predicted that every remaining Republican candidate will follow suit.
“I think every Republican will end up withdrawing, which means that that won’t affect anyone’s path to the nomination,” he said.
After Ramaswamy first released his statement about removing himself from the Colorado ballot over the court’s Trump decision, the Colorado Republican Party responded to the candidate in a post on X, noting that he would not need to withdraw from the contest because they’d be shifting from the state-run primary to a party-run caucus if the ruling was to stand.
That move, however, would likely trigger a rule change from the Republican National Committee, which has already approved the state party’s nomination plan.
“We would seek a waiver and probably get it,” the Colorado Republican Party’s Chairman, Dave Williams, told ABC News.
The RNC has not responded to ABC’s request for comment.
ABC News’ Isabella Murray contributed to this report.
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