Vivek Ramaswamy's Ripped Off Obama Quote At 2023 GOP Debate Has Viewers Unimpressed

During the GOP primary debate on Aug. 23, 2023, presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy repeatedly made an attempt to stand out from the crowd by being a young, idealistic, non-politician. And while his decision to lean into the things that make him different isn't necessarily a bad campaign strategy, Ramaswamy unfortunately made a major misstep in that regard. 

While trying to make himself seem original, Ramaswamy said he would address what he imagined viewers to be thinking: "Who the heck is this skinny guy with a funny last name?" The thing is, this was a totally unoriginal choice of words, which Twitter was quick to point out. 

When former president Barack Obama was just a Senate hopeful back in 2004, he rallied fellow Democrats to their feet with a message of unity and change (via NBC News). And during that speech, he famously called himself "a skinny kid with a funny name." And the two onstage moments spliced together is not a good look for Ramaswamy.

The reaction to Ramaswamy's comment has been lightning fast

Immediately after Vivek Ramaswamy used the recycled line about being skinny and having a funny name, one of his debate opponents, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, was quick to point out the Barack Obama reference. Christie said that the last time a person running for a major office called themselves a skinny guy with a funny last name, it was Obama. Christie then went on to say, "I'm worried we're dealing with the same type of amateur," taking a dig at both Obama and Ramaswamy.

Ramaswamy, a multimillionaire conservative, has admitted that he is not a career politician but a biotech entrepreneur and that he has only voted in two presidential elections in his lifetime. 

Social media reactions were swift. A group that touts its support for Ron DeSantis, "Never Back Down," spliced the two speeches together in an unforgiving loop, declaring Ramaswamy "a fraud." This tweet alone had already been liked thousands of times before the debate even ended.