Ramaswamy’s car rammed by protesters in Iowa

Protesters ran their vehicle into Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s car during a campaign stop in Grinnell, Iowa, on Thursday, his campaign confirmed to POLITICO. Ramaswamy was not in the car when it happened.

The nature of the protest was unclear, but in a video shared by Ramaswamy’s campaign, he engaged with people holding up signs that read “Trans rights are human rights,” “Protect public schools” and “Stop fossil fuels. Climate change is real.” The campaign did not respond to further questions about the protesters.

Several posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, included pictures of the protesters’ vehicle and the damage to Ramaswamy’s.

The candidate and tech entrepreneur has touted provocative positions on all of these issues, including advocating for abolishing the federal Department of Education, dismissing the effects of climate change and saying that being transgender is a “mental health disorder.”

“I believe in free speech, especially for those who disagree with me. Violence is never the answer,” Ramaswamy said in a post on social media responding to the incident. “We will always hold ourselves to a higher standard than the other side.”

In another post, he added that he had had a civil exchange with many of the protesters and that only the two who had rammed his car should “be held accountable.”

“The rest of the peaceful protestors shouldn’t be tarred by the behavior of two bad actors,” he said.

Other 2024 candidates have also faced protests on the campaign trail.

In September, an armed man was arrested at a campaign event for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who launched his bid as a Democrat but is expected to switch to independent.

Other GOP contenders have been heckled by Trump supporters and dogged by demonstrators angered over their views on abortion, climate change and other issues. In August, protesters at a town hall with former Vice President Mike Pence attacked him as a “traitor” and a “sellout.” during an interview at the Iowa State Fair, Ron DeSantis was disrupted by demonstrators protesting his abortion and education policies.

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