Vivek Ramaswamy resumes TV ad spending in Iowa after calling it ‘idiotic’

Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign will resume ad spending in Iowa this week, days before the Republican presidential caucuses, following a pullback at the end of December. 

NBC News reported last month that Ramaswamy’s campaign stopped spending on TV ads. The 38-year-old entrepreneur responded in a post on X, saying TV ad spending is, “idiotic, low-ROI & a trick that political consultants use to bamboozle candidates who suffer from low IQ.”

He reiterated that sentiment during a Fox News appearance following the report.

“I’m running this campaign, in the same way that I would run a company, with an actual IQ and an actual brain, not taken for a ride by political consultants. And I think that’s going to lead us to, ultimately, success here,” he said. 

AdImpact, an ad-tracking service, shows ad buys coming in for Ramaswamy’s campaign that will start in Iowa on Jan. 9, but his campaign says the ads will start on Jan. 10, less than one week before the Jan. 15 caucuses.

So far, the campaign has only reserved $22,500 worth of TV ad time in the next week, but ad spending reservations are always subject to change and more could come in as the day goes on. 

Tricia McLaughlin, communications director for the Ramaswamy campaign, told NBC News that the campaign is “following the data and having some fun.” 

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump’s campaign has booked $1.4 million worth of airtime in Iowa over the next week, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has booked $430,000 worth of airtime in the Hawkeye State through Jan. 15, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign has booked almost $130,000 worth of TV airtime in Iowa over the next week. 

The top expected spender on TV ads in Iowa over the next week is SFA Fund Inc., a super PAC backing Haley’s presidential bid. That group has booked $2.4 million from Jan. 9 through Jan. 15.

Good Fight and Fight Right, two groups backing DeSantis’ campaign, have each reserved over $750,000 worth of airtime in Iowa from Jan. 9 through Jan. 15.