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18-Year-Old Ramaswamy's Question To Al Sharpton In 2003 Aged Awkwardly

The GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy questioned Rev. Al Sharpton's political experience during an MSNBC town hall in 2003.

MSNBC screenshot of young Vivek Ramaswamy during MSNBC town hall

Vivek Ramaswamy's trajectory from an 18-year-old Harvard student asking pointed questions at a Democratic presidential forum to a contender for the GOP presidential nomination 20 years later has attracted new attention in light of a resurfaced video in which the young Ramaswamy questioned Reverend Al Sharpton's political experience during an MSNBC town hall.

Back then, a young Ramaswamy posed a probing query to Sharpton during the event, which was hosted by MSNBC personality Chris Matthews in October 2003.

You can watch the moment in the video below.

Ramaswamy said:

“Reverend Sharpton, hello. I’m Vivek and I want to ask you, last week on the show we had Senator [John] Kerry, and this week and the week before, we had Senator [John] Edwards.”
“And my question for you is, of all the Democratic candidates out there, why should I vote for the one with the least political experience?”

Sharpton, who had been a prominent figure in various political endeavors without ever having been elected to office, responded by asserting his extensive involvement in the political movement and social policy over the years.

He rejected Ramaswamy's line of questioning:

“Well, you shouldn’t, because I have the most political experience. I got involved in the political movement when I was 12 ... and I’ve been involved in social policy for the last 30 years, so don’t confuse people that have a job with political experience.”

In an ironic twist, Ramaswamy recently resurfaced the old footage on X (formerly Twitter), acknowledging his past query. writing:

"I’ll give the 18-year-old version of myself a pat-on-the-back for eliciting the most sensible words ever to come from that man’s mouth. 20 years later, it’s funny how the tables have turned."

You can see his tweet below.

Many cringed at the moment, however.

Ramaswamy's current bid for the GOP nomination has brought him face-to-face with critiques similar to the ones he once posed to Sharpton.

During the first Republican presidential debate, his lack of traditional political experience became a talking point, with fellow candidates questioning his preparedness for the role.

Notable figures like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and former Vice President Mike Pence voiced concerns about his lack of foreign policy experience and readiness for the presidency.

Despite the skepticism, Ramaswamy has garnered attention and support from GOP primary voters, with his average polling standing at 7.5 percent among Republican voters according to RealClearPolitics.