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Finding friends in politics is a fool’s errand. Anyone will betray you if it helps their careers.

And this crucial ally completely backstabbed Donald Trump.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called out former President Donald Trump as “wounded” in a rare departure from his pro-Trump attitude during his White House campaign.

It is a significant shift for the 2024 candidate, who has largely supported the former president despite facing 91 felony charges and two states, Colorado and Maine, threatening to remove him from the primary ballot according to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

“At the end of the day, if we need a commander in chief who is going to lead us to victory, I think that our base needs to choose the general who is not yet wounded in that war,” Ramaswamy said during a joint interview with NBC News’s Dasha Burns and The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel released on Wednesday.

Trump remains the overwhelming favorite in the Republican primary field, but he is facing four criminal cases this year, ranging from alleged hush money payments to an adult star during the 2016 election, to mishandling classified documents after leaving office, and to alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

In a show of support for Trump, Ramaswamy earlier stated that he would boycott primary battles in states that are considering removing the former president from the ballot, and he urged his 2024 opponents to do the same.

Even so, Trump’s Republican opponents are not competing for first place in the primary, but for second.

They want to come in second so that if Trump can’t legally run for president, the runner-up could theoretically take the nomination.

Despite polling considerably behind Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Ramaswamy believes he is the greatest candidate for the job.

“And when it comes to selecting a commander in chief, a general to lead us to victory in that war, I think I’m best positioned to do it with fresh legs, as a leader who is not yet wounded in that war,” Ramaswamy told a news conference on Wednesday.

“And I do think a lot of people see that back in me, as well, and will be making that choice accordingly on Jan. 15.”

Later, he stated that his duty would be to “take what Donald Trump started, but to take it to the next level, go far further on many policies than he did, but also unite this country in the process.”

Trump is polling at 62.7% in a RealClearPolitics national poll average, with Haley at 11%, DeSantis at 10.9%, and Ramaswamy at 4.3%.

According to the RealClearPolitics average of Hawkeye State surveys, Trump still has a 51.3% advantage in Iowa. He is trailed by DeSantis (18.6%), Haley (16.1%), and Ramaswamy (5.9%).

The joint interview comes before the key Iowa caucuses on January 15, where the first voters will decide who will lead their party against President Joe Biden this November.

Despite canceling all TV commercials before Iowa and the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary, Ramaswamy, a political newcomer, claims he will surprise Washington analysts.

However, Ramaswamy fell short of the 10% polling level required to participate in CNN’s Iowa primary debate on January 10.

Undaunted, he said this week that the debate would be dull and is instead taking part in a live-studio town hall that will telecast one hour before the debate.

Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.

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