Rove, a Fox News contributor and former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, slammed Ramaswamy as a “glib, shallow, overbearing, smooth-talking biotech entrepreneur” in building up to an analogy of the classic Broadway and movie musical.
Citing false or questionable comments Ramaswamy made about his fellow candidates during the debate, about the conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, Rove declared the candidate to be far more sinister than a certain famous swindler of stage and screen.
“It’s easy to dismiss Mr. Ramaswamy as a present-day Professor Harold Hill, the con man in ‘The Music Man’ with a ready smile and rapid patter skinning the citizens of River City,” Rove wrote. “But Hill wanted only to sell band uniforms and musical instruments. Mr. Ramaswamy wants to control America’s nuclear codes — or perhaps to occupy a comfortable seat in Mr. Trump’s cabinet.”
“He is a performance artist who says outrageous things, smears his opponents and appeals to the dark parts of the American psyche,” Rove continued. “There’s already a GOP candidate who does all those things, and worse. Republicans deserve a choice, not an echo.”
The front-running Trump appears receptive to Ramaswamy as a potential running mate or some other role. For his part, Ramaswamy, running a distant third behind Trump on the GOP side, said he’d like to make Trump, who faces 91 criminal charges over four indictments, an adviser or mentor if he’s elected president.