Did the presidential candidate really say that about 9/11?
Vivek Ramaswamy is rising in the GOP presidential polls, which is a credit to his energy and message of U.S. revival. But as he garners more attention, an obvious line of attack on the 37-year-old entrepreneur is that hes too young and inexperienced. All the more reason for him to avoid wading into the political fever swamps, alienating voters who might otherwise give him a serious look.
A case in point was his response this week to a question about whether the 9/11 attack was an inside job or exactly how the government tells us? Mr. Ramaswamy should have run away from that one, if not right out the interview door. Instead he answered: I dont believe the government has told us the truth. Again, Im driven by evidence and data. What Ive seen in the last several years is we have to be skeptical of what the government does tell us. I havent seen evidence to the contrary, but do I believe everything the government told us about it? Absolutely not. Do I believe the 9/11 commission? Absolutely not.
Oh, man. What evidence and data is he talking about? An Alex Jones broadcast?
The mop up started soon thereafter. Al-Qaeda clearly planned and executed the attacks, but we have never fully addressed who knew what in the Saudi government about it, Mr. Ramaswamy tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. He was clearly caught off guard by the 9/11 question, which followed an inquiry about whether the moon landing was fake.
But his original answer flirted with the possibility that the government covered up facts about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Back on planet Earth, the 9/11 Commission was one of the better efforts at government accountability in recent memory, and its findings have never been discredited by anyone credible. One irony of Mr. Ramaswamys answer is that conspiracy theories about 9/11 started mostly in left-wing precincts.
Many on the right have in recent years lost confidence in institutions from the intelligence community to health agenciesand often with cause. But the route to restoring public trust isnt indulging the worst instincts of talk-show hosts, and reducing every story to grand-scale government deceit.
Mr. Ramaswamy also recently exalted the supposed heroism of Edward Snowden, who exposed top U.S. secrets and fled for sanctuary to that transparent and honest society known as Vladimir Putins Russia. More such flights into political exotica will encourage many voters to conclude that Mr. Ramaswamy isnt ready for his close up, much less the demands of the Presidency.