Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy got personal Friday, discussing the impact miscarriages had on their families during an Iowa roundtable forum on Friday.
The Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum, organized by an evangelical Christian group, offered DeSantis, Ramaswamy and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley a rare opportunity to discuss issues important to voters outside the Republican National Committee sanctioned debates.
While discussing abortion, DeSantis, 45, and Ramaswamy, 38, revealed for the first time publicly that their wives, Casey DeSantis and Apoorva Ramaswamy, have suffered miscarriages.
“We wanted to have a family, and it didn’t happen at first,” DeSantis said. “We eventually took a trip to Israel when I was a US congressman, and we literally went to Shiloh with Hannah’s Prayer. We went to Ruth’s Tomb in Hebron – Ruth chapter 4, verse 13 – and we prayed. We prayed a lot to have a family, and then lo and behold, we go back to the United States, and a little time later, we got pregnant, but unfortunately, we lost that first baby,” DeSantis said.
“And, you know, it was a tough thing because this is something that we had so much hope for so much aspirations,” he added. “But, you know, we just kept the faith. We just kept praying. We knew that there would be a path that God would lead us on, and lo and behold, you know, short time, we did it, and we had our first baby girl, and we didn’t stop after that.”
Ramaswamy, sadly, shared a similar experience.
He recalled being “ecstatic” when Apoorva became pregnant with their first child about halfway through her medical residency. The couple wrote letters to their unborn child “every night” during the pregnancy, hoping to “impart what were the stories from our parents and our grandparents we wanted to tell.”
“About three and a half months in, you know, Apoorva, one day she woke up, she said, ‘I’m bleeding.’ She had a miscarriage. We lost our first child. And that was a loss of a life. It was our family’s loss,” Ramaswamy said.
“She went through a state of depression after that and our faith is what got us through,” he added.
Ramaswamy, holding back tears, also discussed how months later his wife thought she had suffered a second miscarriage but doctors found a heartbeat, and later their son, Karthik, was born.
The young boy joined Ramaswamy onstage after he told the story and remained on his father’s lap for the remainder of the event.
The three White House hopefuls have increasingly traded barbs with one another as the GOP field narrows, but there were no signs of lingering tensions Friday.
The last time the candidates shared a stage, at the third Republican presidential primary debate in Miami, a visibly enraged Haley derided Ramaswamy as “scum” after the biotech entrepreneur invoked the former ambassador to the United Nations adult daughter to make a point about the social media platform TikTok.
During the same debate, Ramaswamy called for RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel to resign and attacked debate co-moderator Kristen Welker, leading Haley to remark during a podcast interview on Tuesday that Ramaswamy “might have a girl problem.”
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