Bill Ackman Is Betting on GOP Presidential Hopeful Ramaswamy

In Bill Ackman’s view, Vivek Ramaswamy is simply misunderstood.

(Bloomberg) — In Bill Ackman’s view, Vivek Ramaswamy is simply misunderstood.

The hedge fund billionaire is convinced that the novice politician vying to be the Republican presidential candidate will rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and eventually challenge Donald Trump, but thinks he needs to clear up a couple of things first.

How will Ramaswamy — a biotech investor — end the war in Ukraine, and what does his assertion that “the climate change agenda is a hoax” really mean?

“These sound bites from last night are being misunderstood and weoponized by some against him,” Ackman — who increasingly opines on politics in addition to his day job running Pershing Square Capital Management — said in a post to his 769,300 followers on X, misspelling weaponized.

Whether or not Ramaswamy, 38, is in fact being misunderstood is up for debate. 

He made clear on stage at the first GOP debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday that “Ukraine is not a priority for the United States of America” after saying previously that he would allow Russia to keep parts of Ukraine.

As for his views on climate change, Ramaswamy is the author of Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam. He’s the co-founder of Strive Asset Management, which launched last year with backing from Ackman, to counter the ESG — investing with environmental, social, and governance principles — movement, and said days ago at the Iowa fair that the climate change agenda is a “hoax.”

His rise from obscurity has surprised political observers, but not Ackman, who has predicted since February that Ramaswamy could win. 

At Wednesday night’s debate, the other candidates made him their primary target. Mike Pence called him a “rookie,” Chris Christie said he “sounds like ChatGPT” and Nikki Haley blasted his lack of foreign policy knowledge.

Regardless, all the participants badly trail former President Donald Trump, who opted not to take part in the debate.

–With assistance from Jordan Fabian.

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