Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy attended a town hall at New England College Thursday evening, as part of a multi-day bus tour across the granite state.
He fielded questions and shared his position on a variety of issues including gun rights, abortion, education, the opioid crisis, and the environment.
In a one-on-one interview, Ramaswamy told The NewEnglander his goal for the town hall was to connect with voters.
“I love New Hampshire because people think independently, people are not beholden to just standard political talking points, they want to get to the heart of what’s going on,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy is a supporter of the Second Amendment and said mass shootings are an issue of mental health, not gun control.
“We should ban addictive social media usage in kids under 16 instead of taking guns away from law abiding adults in this country,” he said.
Ramaswamy said he would like to see the Department of Education shut down and that money could instead be used to have armed security guards at every school in the country.
On the topic of transgender identity, he disagrees with medical intervention for children.
“There is such a thing as a man, there is such a thing as a woman, and there is such a thing as a mental health issue,” Ramaswamy said.
Ramaswamy said as President, he promises to take action to stem the flow of drugs into the country.
“Use the U.S. military to secure the border and if necessary, use the U.S. military to annihilate the drug cartels that pump that fentanyl across the border.
On energy, he said the country is ‘in a strait jacket’ because of restrictions on drilling, fracking, coal burning.
In response to a question about abortion, Ramaswamy agreed with the overturning of Roe v.Wade and said it is an issue for states.
NEC Political Science Professor Nathan Shrader said Ramaswamy has an approach that doesn’t focus on attacking other candidates.
“He talks about why he believes in a certain position, and I think that’s unique right now in the way politics work. There’s an actual sort of explanation of why he believes what he believes,” Shrader said.
The next speaker attending NEC’s First in the Nation Town Hall Series is Marianne Williamson. The event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 16, in the Simon Center Great Room.