Vivek Ramaswamy Is Not Getting Much Love From Fox News

The biotech investor turned presidential candidate sparred with Sean Hannity over his foreign policy positions this week. But it seems like Hannity isn’t the only one at Fox News skeptical of Ramaswamy’s rising star.
Vivek Ramaswamy after the 2024 Republican presidential candidate
Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, in the spin room following the Republican primary presidential debate hosted by Fox News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023.By Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s loud, right-wing “America First” politics seem to be driving some kind of momentum in the Republican presidential primary; the political novice has seen a healthy bump in the polls in the last month, making him a contender for the second-place spot behind Donald Trump. Now that he’s on the rise, Ramaswamy is being confronted with some vocal detractors—particularly at Fox News.

During a Monday night interview on Fox News, Sean Hannity took a jab at the biotech investor turned presidential candidate, over his foreign policy views. Ramaswamy has called for scaling back US aid to Israel by 2028 (if there is peace in the Middle East by then, that is), dropping US defenses of Taiwan once Americans have an independent supply of semiconductors, and ending support for Ukraine in the hopes of weakening the alliance between Russia and China. 

Hannity was particularly troubled by the candidate’s vision for Israel. “You said aid to Israel, our number one ally—[the] only democracy in the region—should end in 2028, and that they should be integrated with their neighbors,” the host told Ramaswamy, who refuted that description of his comments. “What I said is it would be a mark of success if we ever got to a point in our relationship with Israel if Israel never needed the United States’ aid.”  

But Hannity wasn’t satisfied. “Why did you say that Israel should not have preferential treatment from us?” the host asked. “That’s a direct quote.” Ramaswamy countered by taking a swipe at the media, telling Hannity that he was reading “direct quotes from headlines summarized by opposition research fed to the fake news media.”

For what it’s worth, Hannity’s characterization of Ramaswamy’s past remarks was largely accurate: The candidate has suggested that the US should provide Israel with the same amount of funding as other allies in the region. That would amount to a massive reduction, given that Israel currently receives significantly more military aid from the US than any country, outside of Ukraine. “[I want] to get to a 2028 where Israel is so strongly standing on its own two feet, integrated into the economic and security infrastructure of the rest of the Middle East, that it will not require and be dependent on that same level of historical aid or commitment from the US,” he told the Washington Free Beacon this month. 

Meanwhile, Fox & Friends cohosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy appeared utterly baffled by Ramaswamy’s diplomatic fantasizing. “I don’t get it,” Kilmeade said during a Tuesday morning segment. Doocy was more blunt. “He’s wrong about all that foreign policy stuff,” the cohost said. “It’s that easy.”

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen went so far as to call Ramaswamy’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war “criminally stupid.” That condemnation came in response to an op-ed from Ramaswamy in which he said he would cut a deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin to block Ukraine’s entrance into NATO, end Western sanctions on Russia, and accept Russian claims on the territories it has occupied in Ukraine. In return, Ramaswamy argued, he would convince Russia to enter peace negotiations with Ukraine and sever its military alliance with China, thereby isolating the communist superpower. “We will be Uncle Sucker no more,” the candidate wrote, adding later, “I will lead America from moralism to realism.”

“Like a freshman foreign policy paper,” Thiessen said of the Ramaswamy’s “peace” plan. “Utterly disqualifying.” 

At 38-years-old, Ramaswamy is running as a young, self-funded Trump acolyte; he’s not afraid to defend the race’s front-runner, and trade barbs with almost everyone else in the field. So far, he's managed increasingly to draw the attention of Republican voters—with the GOP debate being a major step in his introduction to the electorate. But whether he will be able to withstand negative coverage on Fox News as a still relatively unknown newcomer remains to be seen.