FIRST ON FOX – Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy took a swipe against former President Trump for being “duped by the adviser class” ahead of his first major domestic policy speech laying out his plan to dismantle what he calls “the administrative state.”
Ramaswamy, who has often praised Trump on the campaign trail as being the greatest president America has had in the 21st century, told Fox News Digital that even “good presidents” like him and Ronald Reagan were wrongly discouraged by their staff to not use their authority in the executive branch combat the size and power of the federal government.
“Good presidents from Trump to Reagan have been duped by the advisor class around them, saying that they can’t do it. Well, it turns out they can. And as the next president, I will,” Ramaswamy said in an interview. “That’s what we will be laying out, not just the operational practicalities which we’ll lay out but the more interesting part is how the advisers from the managerial swamp class told them they couldn’t do it but I’m not going to be a president who just takes that answer at face value, because if you dig deeper, you realize that the president, under existing legal authority, absolutely has the authority to do it even without asking Congress for permission.”
The 38-year-old political outsider offered a preview to Fox News Digital of Wednesday’s speech that will be given at the America First Policy Institute in Washington D.C. The speech will unveil his plan to reorganize and shut down the FBI, the Department of Education, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It’s part of his campaign promise of eliminating 75% of federal employees by the end of his second term in 2033.
Ramaswamy says his plan will be a “template” to shut down other agencies he previously indicated he would get rid of other agencies like the IRS, CDC, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He anticipates that there will be many questions directed towards him about his vow to shut down the FBI, telling Fox News Digital his speech will “lay out exactly how we will reorganize the 35,000 plus employees who work at the FBI.”
As part of his speech, Ramaswamy will unveil charts that will outline the legal basis he says he has and how the funds and resources previously allocated for each agency will be reorganized.
One chart first obtained by Fox News Digital shows his plans to reorganize ATF’s employees. 654 of the full-time employees who work in the AFT’s arson and explosives unit will be redirected to the Department of Homeland Security, 668 who work in the criminal organizations unit will head to the Department of Justice, 50 in the financial investigation unit will be directed to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, 301 in firearms licensing unit will move to the US Marshall Service and the 1,802 from the firearms trafficking, tracing and possession division will be shuffled to the US Secret Service.
In a separate chart obtained by Fox News Digital, Ramaswamy will send $87 billion of the Food & Nutrition Services budget to the Department of Health & Human Services and another $30 billion of its budget would be directed to DHS, touting a $42.3 billion “bureaucracy cut.”
Ramaswamy shared one of his charts during his viral spat on Saturday with billionaire businessman Mark Cuban, who objected to the GOP hopeful’s plan to shut down the Department of Education.
The chart showed how he intends to reassign the billions DoE issues in grants and loans to the State Department, Labor Department, the Treasury, and the states, resulting in a $9 billion “bureaucracy cut.”
Ramaswamy insists his use of executive authority and bypassing Congress to implement his agenda is “going to be a shock wave to the system.”
“Everything I will be laying out is what I will do without asking Congress for permission or forgiveness. That’s a big deal here,” Ramaswamy said. “Because every other president makes, I mean, even signature promises from 2016, ‘repeal and replace Obamacare,’ you can’t make those promises because we don’t know what Congress is going to agree to.
Well, here, when it comes to running the executive branch of the government, that is something that I will be able to do in my capacity as the leader of the executive branch under Article Two of the Constitution and then the legal arguments debunk the classical myths that have, you know, really stopped presidents from Reagan to Trump from being able to act.”
One of those “myths” he claims to have debunked was the civil service protections that he accused the “adviser class” of telling Trump was the reason he could not shut down various agencies, saying those protections do not apply to “mass layoffs,” something he considers a “reduction in force.” He also pointed to provisions in the 1977 Presidential Reorganization Act that he says allow him to gut agencies “if they stimulate the economy or if they reduce redundancies in the federal government.”
He also expressed confidence that any legal challenges brought against him by Democrats will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court.
“They gave Trump all the reasons why he couldn’t do it. And what we’re demonstrating is through a direct knowledge of the law, the answer is yes, we absolutely can,” Ramaswamy said about the former president’s advisers. “I’m an outsider, but I’m an outsider who also has a deep understanding of the laws and constitution of the country that will allow me to act with greater certitude.”