After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television advertising to aid his longshot GOP primary bid, Vivek Ramaswamy announced he will spend no more.
“Presidential TV ad spending is idiotic, low-ROI & a trick that political consultants use to bamboozle candidates who suffer from low IQ,” Ramaswamy posted to X on Tuesday night, confirming an NBC report that first broke the story of his pivot.
After months of campaigning and with less than three weeks to go until the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucuses, Ramaswamy now says he plans on “doing it differently.”
His campaign said it intends to focus in on mail, text and door-to-door outreach, spending “$$ in a way that follows data…apparently a crazy idea in US politics,” Ramaswamy said in his tweet.
“We are focused on bringing out the voters we’ve identified — best way to reach them is using addressable advertising, mail, text, live calls and doors to communicate with our voters on Vivek’s vision for America, making their plan to caucus and turning them out,” press secretary Tricia McLaughlin told NBC News.
Ramaswamy in recent months has polled in the single digits on average both nationally and in Iowa as former President Donald Trump continues to hold a commanding lead in the race.
Ramaswamy himself had pledged near-complete fealty to Trump and has leaned into conspiracy theories in recent weeks, claiming the Jan. 6 capitol riot looks like “an inside job,” and touting the Great Replacement Theory.
Just last month, Ramaswamy launched an advertising campaign that reached into the millions in both states, according to Politico, which reported figures of up to $8 million in Iowa and $4 million in New Hampshire. The campaign then spent a further $2.2 million across TV, digital and radio ads, according to NBC News via AdImpact.
His pivot arrived after he burned through campaign funds at a rate that outpaced Trump himself in a mostly self-funded campaign.
“This isn’t what most campaigns look like,” McLaughlin said. “We have intentionally structured this way so that we have the ability to be nimble and hypertargeted in our ad spending.”
Iowa is make or break for Ramaswamy and his rivals who have attended four debates and raced across the state to rack up support—efforts that have fought for attention against the tirades and looming trials that have shoved Trump’s reelection bid into center stage.
Trump reacted to the news in a post to Truth Social calling Ramaswamy a “good man” while adding that “He will, I am sure, Endorse me.”