Ramaswamy, Andrea Mitchell spar in testy interview

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell sparred in an often-testy exchange on a variety of topics during an interview Tuesday. 

Ramaswamy and Mitchell pushed back against each other and at times spoke over each other as they tangled over the conservative entrepreneur’s policy proposals. One of the most intense parts was the discussion of Ramaswamy’s views on climate change, which he has on multiple occasions called a “hoax.” 

He has argued that more people have died from policies put in place to combat climate change than climate change itself. The fact-checking organization PolitiFact has given this claim a “Pants on fire” rating, the lowest rating in terms of accuracy it can give. 

Mitchell cited a report from the World Meteorological Organization that found extreme weather events caused 2 million deaths and $4.3 trillion in damage between 1970 and 2021. 

“Can you offer a shred of evidence that more than 2 million people died from converting to clean energy?” she asked Ramaswamy. 

Ramaswamy did not directly answer her question but argued that climate disaster-related deaths have dropped significantly over the past century. He claimed the reason for this is because of access to fossil fuels. 

PolitiFact reported that death rates from weather disasters have declined over decades, but experts have said it is because of better warning systems to alert people, and the decline does not undermine evidence that increasingly extreme weather has cost many lives. 

Mitchell told Ramaswamy that the mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., has been a resident of the city for three generations and said he has not seen the ocean warming like it has recently. 

“Andrea, may I please offer a response to that? And I mean this with due respect, if someone on the other side who were an uneducated person from Arkansas who didn’t go to college and offered one weather event as one anecdote to support the theory of global climate change, you’d laugh them off stage as a rube for saying they don’t follow data,” Ramaswamy said.

The two of them also discussed former Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Ramaswamy said in an interview Sunday on “Meet the Press” that he would have certified the election as Pence did in January 2021, but he would have pushed for “reforms” to the election system before doing so. 

Mitchell questioned Ramaswamy about the potential for Vice President Harris to take a similar approach, to which Ramaswamy cut in with, “To be clear, I stand by what I said.” She continued to ask him how he could have pushed the legislation through in time to certify the election. 

“I stand by what I said in that interview, not what you just said that I said,” the biotech entrepreneur replied. “I said that’s what I would have delivered and then used that as an opportunity for heroism to reunite this country.”

As Ramaswamy laid out his proposals, including paper ballots for elections and government-issued photo ID requirements, Mitchell told him that his proposals would take time. He said some bills have moved forward in “much faster periods of time,” and the two of them talked over each other at times.

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