Vivek Ramaswamy
Republican presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks to supporters as he stands with his wife Apoorva Tewari and son Karthik at his Iowa caucus night watch party after suspending his campaign and endorsing former US President Donald Trump in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024. Image Credit: REUTERS

Washington: Vivek Ramaswamy, a political novice who gained attention for his outspoken debate performances, ended his long-shot presidential bid after a weak showing in the Iowa caucuses and threw his support behind frontrunner Donald Trump.

"As I've said since the beginning, there are two America First candidates in this race, and I called Donald Trump to tell him that," Ramaswamy told supporters in Des Moines late Monday after Trump's decisive victory in the nation's first nominating contest. "Going forward he will have my full endorsement."

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Ramaswamy struggled to climb out of single digits in state and national polls, trailing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who finishd a distant second, and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who placed third.

The 38-year-old led a quirky and unorthodox campaign, including rapping to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" at the Iowa State Fair, a move that sparked viral videos on social media.

Early on, Ramaswamy aligned himself closely with Trump, pledging he'd pardon the former president from his numerous federal indictments on his first day in office. He is seen as a likely candidate for a job in a second Trump administration, particularly after his endorsement.