PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has appeared in a TikTok with popular creator Jake Paul, despite previously branding the video app “digital fentanyl.”
The 38-year-old Republican candidate danced alongside the YouTuber-turned-boxer in the video in an apparent bid to win over young voters.
This came just days after he had denounced the social media platform and branded it a Chinese-made threat to America.
The app, which was created by Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Yimang in 2012, has been accused of handing over users’ data to authorities in Beijing.
Such are the concerns about the video site that the app has been banned on phones given to officials in several US states.
The company has firmly denied the accusations against it.
Speaking days earlier at a campaign event in Iowa, Vivek said: “You’re addicted to the fentanyl… pumping across their southern border. You’re addicted to the digital fentanyl that [they’re] putting in your kids’ hands.”
It appears that the presidential candidate has flipped his opinion on the platform, saying “I’m officially on TikTok, we’re going to be on here a lot.”
“We’re in this to reach young people, to energize young people,” Ramaswamy said on his page.
Ramaswamy’s TikTok with Paul appeared to be an endorsement from the boxer, who claimed Ramaswamy is connecting with the younger generation through social media.
Paul apparently convinced the presidential hopeful to join the social media platform, telling him it would attract younger voters.
While the conservative candidate still is wary of TikTok, he feels he can only defeat it if he is in the oval office.
“I’m never going to be in a position to do that unless we win this election,” he said.
If he wants to get there, Ramaswamy thinks being on TikTok will be a powerful tool.
“In retrospect, it was a little bit of an old-fashioned decision to say that there’s an entire mode of communicating with young people that I was going to turn off,” Ramaswamy said.
Still, the Republican candidate is continuing to warn his supporters of the supposed dangers of TikTok.
“I worry about the impact that it has on 12- or 13-year-olds that are using this product that they probably shouldn’t be,” Ramaswamy said.
The U.S. Sun has reached out to Ramaswamy’s campaign for comment.