Former President Donald Trump has taken most of the heat for Jan. 6, but Vivek Ramaswamy says the real cause was the “cycle of censorship” leading up to the 2021 Capitol riot.
“There’s such a temptation to say that there’s one man whose name is unspeakable,” said Mr. Ramaswamy, a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, at the 2023 Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.
He said the underlying cause was the social-media campaign to squelch dissenting views on issues such as the COVID-19 virus, the vaccine, and Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“You want to know what caused Jan. 6 is pervasive censorship in this country in the lead-up to Jan. 6,” Mr. Ramaswamy said Friday to enthusiastic cheers. “You tell people in this country they cannot speak, that is when they scream. You tell people they cannot scream, that is when they tear things down.”
The 37-year-old tech entrepreneur was one of a half-dozen Republican presidential hopefuls featured in on-stage conversations with former Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson at the one-day summit.
A virtual unknown when he entered the race, Mr. Ramaswamy polled third with 8% support in a Morning Consult survey released Wednesday, behind Mr. Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ahead of more prominent candidates like former Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr. Ramaswamy adroitly threaded the needle on Jan. 6 with Republican voters by neither blaming nor exonerating Mr. Trump.
Vivek is the only candidate who came ready for a discussion with Tucker:
“You want to know what caused J6? Pervasive censorship in this country in the lead up to J6.” pic.twitter.com/qhnRZReZOl
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) July 14, 2023
“The reality is we were told that you could not question where the virus came from when we all knew it came from a lab in Wuhan, which now they admit,” said Mr. Ramaswamy. “We were told that you could not send a private message to someone on the eve of an election that Hunter Biden’s laptop story was actually a true story worth considering before an election. You were systematically suppressed.”
Against that backdrop were mass Black Lives Matter protests and riots in major U.S. cities during the 2020 pandemic lockdown.
“Think about this: You were told you had to be locked down, take a vaccine that was mandated and forced down your throat, stay locked down in your home, while Antifa and BLM roam and burn the streets of this country,” Mr. Ramaswamy said.
He warned that the censorship issue still hasn’t been addressed.
“That’s what caused Jan. 6 is a cycle of censorship in this country, and until we look ourselves in the mirror, and admit truth on that, we will not move forward as a country. And I think that’s the real cause,” he said.
Other GOP candidates interviewed by Mr. Carlson during the summit were Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.