FACT CHECK: Did Vivek Ramaswamy Say, ‘Climate Change Is A Hoax?’

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

Politico reported that businessman Vivek Ramaswamy said “climate change a hoax” during the first Republican presidential primary debate Aug. 23.

Verdict: False

Ramaswamy called the “climate change agenda” a hoax. Politico issued a correction.

Fact Check:

Ramaswamy, who is currently third in the polls behind Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, drew fire from other Republican presidential candidates during the first Republican primary debate, according to NBC News.

Politico reported that Ramaswamy called climate change a “hoax.” Politico’s headline reads, “Vivek Ramaswamy calls climate change a ‘hoax’ during debate.” It quotes him saying, “I’m the only candidate on stage who isn’t bought and paid for, so I can say this. Climate change (Emphasis added by Check Your Fact) is a hoax …”

Other outlets such as The Daily Beast also claimed Ramamswamy said “climate change is a hoax.”

Politico misquoted Ramaswamy. A video posted by Townhall.com of the moment shows that Ramaswamy says that the “climate change agenda” is a hoax, not climate change itself. (RELATED: Did Vivek Ramaswamy Call Juneteenth’ Useless’ Two Months After Celebrating It?)

“I’m the only person on the stage who isn’t bought and paid for, so I can say this. The climate change agenda (emphasis added by Check Your Fact) is a hoax. The climate change agenda is a hoax. And we have to [boos]…And the reality is the anti-carbon agenda is the wet blanket on our economy.” Ramaswamy says in the Townhall.com clip. He added that “the reality is more people are dying of bad climate change policies than they are of actual climate change,” according to The New York Times.

Other outlets, such as NBC News and The New York Times, reported that Ramaswamy said the “climate change agenda is a hoax.” Rolling Stone also reported that Ramaswamy called the “climate change agenda” a “hoax.”

Ramaswamy also responded to President Joe Biden’s allusion to his comments by tweeting, “The climate change agenda is a hoax.” Ramaswamy has previously called the “climate change agenda” a “hoax” during an Aug. 12 fireside chat with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, according to The Hill.

Politico issued a correction after Check Your Fact sent a media inquiry. The correction reads, “CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct Vivek Ramaswamy’s quote on climate change.”

“The story has been updated and I would direct you to the correction…accompanying the article,” Melissa Cooke, Politico’s communication director, told Check Your Fact in an email.

The Daily Beast also corrected its reporting and updated its headline and story to reflect that Ramamwamy did not say “climate change is a hoax” and attached an editor’s note to the story. The editor’s note reads,”This has been updated to correct that Ramaswamy said the ‘climate change agenda’ s a hoax.”

Check Your Fact reached out to the Ramaswamy campaign for comment.

Update 8/24/2023: This article has been updated to note that the Daily Beast corrected its reporting. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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