Time and time again, Mr Ramaswamy positioned himself as the outsider against a bunch of political establishment insiders. Many of his views – calling on Ukraine to cede territory to Russia, using military force to secure the US-Mexico border, and banning US companies from doing business with China – are well outside the political mainstream even within the Republican Party. But as Mr Trump demonstrated in 2016, even outlandish, impractical policy proposals can be effective in generating attention.

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