A video has emerged on social media of 18-year-old Vivek Ramaswamy quizzing Reverend Al Sharpton over his supposed lack of political experience.
Rev Sharpton appeared on a 2003 episode of Hardball on MSNBC as he was running in the 2004 Democratic primary.
“Last week on the show, we had Senator John Kerry and the week before we had Senator John Edwards. And my question for you is, of all the Democratic candidates out there, why should I vote for the one with the least political experience?” the then-teenaged Mr Ramaswamy asked at the time.
“Well, you shouldn’t because I have the most political experience,” Rev Sharpton said. “I got involved in the political movement when I was 12 years old. And I’ve been involved in social policy for the last 30 years. So don’t confuse people that have a job with political experience.
“Whoever the head of some local bureaucracy has a job in Cambridge, that doesn’t mean that they have political experience, and it doesn’t mean they have the experience to run the United States government. So I think that we confuse title holders with political experience, as we have seen with the present occupant in the White House,” he added. “George Bush was a governor and clearly has shown he doesn’t have political experience.”
Mr Ramaswamy has been compared by some political observers to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who entered the 2020 Democratic primary as a young mayor of South Bend, Indiana facing similar criticisms of lacking experience.
A young Mr Buttigieg also appeared on the 2004 Hardball college tour, asking a question on the episode featuring Dick Gephardt, a former House Minority Leader.
The irony of Mr Ramswamy quizzing a candidate on their supposed lack of experience was noted by many users on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“18-year-old Vivek Ramaswamy asking a presidential candidate why he should vote for him when he’s the one with ‘the least political experience?’ The irony,” the account Republicans against Trump wrote.
“He was obviously very interested in politics but according to him, he had zero interest in politics until he voted for the first time in 2020. This doesn’t seem like a guy that waited to vote until he was almost 40 His stories don’t add up,” Josh Power, a supporter of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, added.