Senior Vivek Ramaswamy Adviser Quits to Join Trump Campaign

A spokesperson for the Ramaswamy campaign said Brian Swensen’s decision has nothing to do with internal problems within the campaign.
Senior Vivek Ramaswamy Adviser Quits to Join Trump Campaign
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 28, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Lorenz Duchamps
Nathan Worcester
11/30/2023
Updated:
12/1/2023
0:00

Brian Swensen, the national political director for Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, has resigned and joined former President Donald Trump’s team, Mr. Ramaswamy’s election campaign confirmed on Nov. 29.

Tricia McLaughlin, communications director for the 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur’s campaign, pointed out that Mr. Swensen’s departure has nothing to do with internal problems within the campaign, noting his decision had been “a long time in the making.”

“We love him and care about him and wish him the best,” Ramaswamy senior advisor Tricia McLaughlin told The Epoch Times.

Ms. McLaughlin rejected the idea that his departure marked some sort of “death knell” even as the campaign falters in polling ahead of the first primaries early next year. The Messenger first reported the departure.

RealClearPolitics’ polling average shows the businessman and “anti-woke” investor trailing President Trump, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in New Hampshire, a key state for him as he fights to remain a contender in the critical weeks to come.

Mr. Swensen held the title of “National Political Director,” per his LinkedIn profile. Some media sources initially described him as a “top” or otherwise leading figure.

A source in the Ramaswamy campaign told The Epoch Times that Mr. Swensen’s responsibilities shifted earlier this year from national political director to a role concentrating on New Hampshire.

Michael Biundo has taken on all of Mr. Swensen’s remaining duties in the state, according to the source. Mr. Biundo helped lead President Trump’s 2016 campaign in the state starting in June 2016, several months after he won that state’s primary.

Mr. Biundo also managed Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign as his national campaign manager before joining the campaign of presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) after Mr. Santorum officially ended his White House bid.

According to The Messenger, Mr. Swensen will be working as an adviser alongside Trump campaign senior adviser Susie Wiles in the upper echelon of President Trump’s 2024 reelection bid.

Mr. Swensen will help the Trump campaign’s efforts in Nevada, the third GOP primary contest next year, a Trump aide told The Epoch Times.

In 2010, Ms. Wiles and Mr. Swensen were also close allies when they worked together on Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) run for governor.

Mr. Swensen did not return a request for comment.

GOP Debate in Alabama

On Dec. 6, Republican presidential candidates are scheduled to face off in the fourth debate of their party’s 2024 nominating contest.

Mr. Ramaswamy has said that he’s qualified to participate in next week’s GOP primary debate, which will be held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Indian-American businessman is also scheduled to appear at a pre-debate reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at the Ross Bridge Hotel in Hoover.

“I am pleased to have Vivek Ramaswamy joining us as we kick-off debate week here in Alabama! This is a historic occasion for our state as we hold our first ever nationally televised presidential debate, and I am appreciative that one of our Party’s rising political figures will be headlining this reception for the Alabama Republican Party,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

“I look forward to giving the people [of] Alabama the chance to meet Mr. Ramaswamy and showcasing our amazing state to another presidential candidate,” he added

Mr. Ramaswamy, a wealthy businessman who brands himself as an “outsider,” is expected to appear in the fourth debate along with former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

(L–R) Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former Governor from South Carolina and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) attend the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 8, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
(L–R) Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former Governor from South Carolina and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) attend the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Fla., on Nov. 8, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who qualified for the third GOP debate, announced earlier this month that he will end his bid for the 2024 presidential race, while former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is struggling to meet the polling threshold.

Unlike the previous debates, President Trump has no plans to counter-program by holding his own event, Trump’s co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita said.

Mr. Ramaswamy has around 5 percent support of likely Republican primary voters in national polls, more than 40 percentage points behind President Trump, the GOP front-runner in national polls.

Reuters contributed to this report.
From NTD News
This article was updated to include a statement from Ramaswamy campaign.