No one knows how this could’ve happened. Even the police are scratching their heads.
And chaos erupted when this GOP presidential candidate was hit by a car.
According to Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign, at least two demonstrators enraged by the Republican presidential candidate’s words against Ukraine aid purposefully slammed his car in Iowa on Thursday, but police say there is no evidence to back up the accusation.
The police description of the crash in Grinnell, Iowa, differed drastically from the story presented earlier by Ramaswamy’s campaign, which claimed that demonstrators yelled and cursed at the candidate before at least one of them rushed into a vehicle, slammed his empty campaign car, and raced away.
The campaign stated that no one was hurt and that a police report had been made.
Police said they were called to a city coffee shop just after 1 p.m. for an allegation of property damage.
They spoke with a 22-year-old lady who said she had just eaten lunch at a neighboring deli and was backing out of her parking spot when she accidentally hit a Ford Expedition that was across the street.
Police say the woman told them she wasn’t protesting, didn’t know whose car she had hit, didn’t mean to cause the accident, and didn’t run away from the scene.
Police have found no proof that the protesters who hit Ramaswamy’s campaign car on purpose then drove off quickly.
Authorities said that both cars had minor damage, and the woman was given a traffic ticket for backing up too far.
Ramaswamy campaign spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin told The Associated Press that the campaign believes the driver was a protester.
She also maintained that there were two people in the car that hit the campaign car.
“I’m confident of what happened. I was there,” McLaughlin said.
A woman in Grinnell with the same name as the driver did not immediately respond to an Associated Press message requesting comment received Thursday evening.
Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur and author of “Woke, Inc.,” was in Grinnell for an interview with Des Moines’ local CBS News station before travelling to Des Moines to conduct a fall-themed, family campaign event. According to campaign officials, Ramaswamy intends to hold the event.
The candidate is accompanied by private protection, but advisers refused to elaborate. He lacks a Secret Service detail.
In a text message earlier in the day, McLaughlin told the AP, “Prior to the protestors ramming their car, they continually laid on the horn, flipped staff off, and screamed expletives (it appeared in efforts to create commotion.)”
She continued: “It seemed like the protestor couldn’t stay at the event or didn’t want to and wanted to make a statement. (Though I can’t assign motivations.) The driver began to drive off but stopped suddenly after staffers chased after to get insurance information.”
Ramaswamy detailed the incident in a post on X, the network that was previously known as Twitter.
“Had a civil exchange with protestors today, right before two of them then got into their car & rammed it into ours,” he wrote. “Those two should be held accountable, but the rest of the peaceful protestors shouldn’t be tarred by the behavior of two bad actors.”
Ramaswamy afterwards sent out a fundraising email detailing the incident, urging supporters to “stand for free speech” and contribute to his campaign.
Grinnell, a small town east of Des Moines, is home to Grinnell College, a small liberal arts college with approximately 1,700 students in Poweshiek County.
Ramaswamy’s car is not the first to get hit while campaigning this election season.
His opponent, Ron DeSantis, was involved in a multicar accident near Chattanooga, Tennessee, on his way to a campaign event in July.
The governor of Florida was unharmed as traffic on Interstate 75 halted suddenly during a busy morning commute, sparking a chain reaction of state-owned automobiles.
Stay tuned to The Federalist Wire.