In an absolutely cringeworthy response to the demand that he stop using Eminem’s music on the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy asked for the “real Slim Shady” to stand up while accusing the rap superstar of carrying the establishment’s water.
Towards the end of a combative interview with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday, Ramaswamy was pressed on the cease-and-desist letter he received last week from music license company BMI telling him it would no longer license Eminem’s music for use by the candidate’s campaign.
In a letter dated Aug. 23, BMI said it “received a communication from Marshall B. Mathers, III, professionally known as Eminem, objecting to the Vivek Ramaswamy campaign’s use of Eminem’s musical compositions.” This came after Ramaswamy performed an impromptu version of “Lose Yourself” at the Iowa State Fair, adding that it was his favorite walkout song at campaign events.
“Have you agreed to move on?” Mitchell asked the multimillionaire pharmaceutical businessman who currently sits third in the GOP presidential race.
Saying that he’d “respect his wishes,” Ramaswamy—who has portrayed himself as an antiestablishment “outsider” throughout his campaign—then went on to reference lyrics from another Eminem anthem before suggesting the hip-hop legend wasn’t being true to his roots.
“Eminem, in his rise, used to be a guy who actually stood up to the establishment and said the things the establishment didn’t want him to say,” the presidential hopeful continued. “I think the fact that my political viewpoints may differ from his—I think people change over the course of their lives. But I have hope for him that one day he will rediscover the renegade that made him great.”
Besides claiming a rapper not wanting a wealthy conservative politician to co-opt his music on the campaign trail is conformist behavior, Ramaswamy also doubled down on his outlandish claims about how he would have handled certifying Joe Biden’s election victory on Jan. 6 “very differently” than then-Vice President Mike Pence.
During a conversation with NBC News anchor Chuck Todd on Sunday, Ramaswamy asserted that he would have pushed voting “reforms” through Congress if he were vice president, adding that he would have then certified the results before announcing a “re-election campaign pursuant to a free and fair election” the following day.
Since then, Ramaswamy has faced intense criticism over his “lack of understanding of how our system of government works” and his belief that he could just single-handedly solve problems if elected, prompting Mitchell to ask him to clarify his position.
Vivek Ramaswamy on MSNBC (!) doubles down on his position that Mike Pence should've refused to certify the election on January 6 until he could employ one weird trick to unilaterally implement voter ID and change federal election law pic.twitter.com/1FigPD3iju
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 29, 2023
Once again, Ramaswamy insisted he could ram through new election laws on Jan. 6 and then, “on that condition,” he would have certified the results.
“I said that that’s what I would have delivered. Then use that as an opportunity for heroism to reunite this country,” he proclaimed. “There are two preconditions for the health of our constitutional republic. One is the peaceful transition of power. The other is public confidence in our elections… that was a rare opportunism for heroism that Mike Pence missed.”
“That takes time,” Mitchell responded. “With all due respect, the Capitol was under attack. They were trying to complete it within that calendar day. As is constitutionally mandated. That’s not the time to start proposing legislation.”
Ramaswamy, as has been his fashion lately, suddenly decided to add a new wrinkle after being called out over his previous claims.
“I would have begun on November 5,” he exclaimed.
“That’s not what you said during the debate,” Mitchell shot back.