Republican debaters throw slings and arrows, but all prove they have the chops to take on Biden

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There were moments in the Wednesday evening Republican presidential debate that seemed chaotic, with some of the more animated candidates talking over each other and throwing accusations, but overall the seven GOP candidates who qualified for the debate showed that the Republican Party has plenty of talent to take on Democrat Joe Biden.

Republicans are not afraid to brawl, and brawl they did on stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Each showed how they would be a strong contender against Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, or Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, possible replacements for the aging and mentally feeble President Biden.

But the question remains, can any of the seven get past former President Donald Trump, who did not attend the debate, but held a rally in Michigan instead. Trump is still the leading candidate in the polls, as far as Republican voters are concerned. He has over 60% of their support, according to more polls.

For the seven who did debate, it was more about leadership style and whether they can convince people they’ll follow through on promises; for the most part, they agreed on everything from the need to strengthen the border again to the importance of putting an end to child mutilation, commonly known now as “gender-affirming surgery.” They disagreed on approaches to Russian aggression and U.S. funding support for Ukraine.

As with the first debate, some of them took pot shots at Vivek Ramaswamy, the energetic entrepreneur who, unlike the others, has never held elected office.

“The Republicans showed it is the party of good ideas and at the end of the day, our bench is so much better than theirs,” said one Republican attending a debate party in Juneau.

A straw poll at that party, held at the Prospector/Ramada, showed that Republicans in the capital city thought Nikki Haley won the debate, followed by Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie.

Some of the interesting moments:

Vivek Ramaswamy called for the end of birthright citizenship for kids who were born in the US with parents who illegally entered the country:

“I favor ending birthright citizenship for the kids of illegal immigrants in this country. Now, the left will howl about the Constitution and the 14th Amendment. The difference between me and them is I’ve actually read the 14th Amendment. What it says is that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the laws and jurisdiction thereof are citizens. So nobody believes that the kid of a Mexican diplomat in this country enjoys birthright citizenship.”

Chris Christie lashed out at Donald Trump for not attending the debate: “You’re not here tonight because you’re afraid to defend your record. You’re ducking. We’re going to call you Donald Duck.” The audience booed, just as the first debate brought out boos for Christie whenever he went after Trump, which he did repeatedly on Wednesday, serving as the stage’s primary attack dog on the presumed nominee.

Nikki Haley lashed out at Ramaswamy for being a TikTok user. TikTok is owned by communist Chinese, who can scrape users’ data.

“I have a radical idea for the Republican Party,” Ramaswamy responded. “We need to win elections, and part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are.” 

Haley yelled, “This is infuriating. TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have,” She said that every time she hears Ramaswamy, she feels “dumber.” 

Haley continued to harangue Ramaswamy with a diatribe that ended with, “We can’t trust you!” 

Ramaswamy responded kindly, “I think we would be better served as a Republican Party if we’re not sitting here hurling personal insults and actually have a legitimate debate about policy.” 

Ron DeSantis responded to a question from Univision’s Ilia Caldaron, who was repeating misinformation spread by Vice President Kamala Harris about changing the slavery history curriculum in Florida schools:

DeSantis said, “First of all, that is a hoax that was perpetrated by Kamala Harris. We are not going to be doing that. Second of all, that was written by descendents of slaves. These are great black history scholars, so we need to stop playing these games.Florida represents the revival of American education.

“We’re ranked No. 1 in the nation in education by U.S. News and World Report,” DeSantis said. “My wife and I, we have a 6-, 5-, and 3-year-old. This is personal to us. We didn’t just talk about universal school choice; we enacted universal school choice. We didn’t just talk about a parents’ bill of rights. We enacted the Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

“We eliminated critical race theory, and we now have American civics and the Constitution in our schools in a really big way, just like President Reagan asked for in his farewell address back in 1989,” DeSantis said. “Florida is showing how it’s done. We’re standing with parents, and our kids are benefiting.”

DeSantis also refused to participate in one question, which was when Dana Perino asked the candidates to write down the name of one candidate who should be “voted off the island.”

“It’s now obvious that if you all stay in the race, former President Donald Trump wins the nomination. None of you have indicated that you are dropping out. So, which one of you onstage tonight should be voted off the island?” Perino said. “Please use your marker to write your choice on the notepad in front of you, 15 seconds, starting now.”

DeSantis responded, “With all due respect, I mean, we’re here. We’re happy to debate, but I think that that’s disrespectful to my fellow competitors. Let’s talk about the future of the country.”

Christie did respond, however, as the hits on Trump continued: “I vote Donald Trump off the island right now. And the reason I vote him off the island … every person on this stage has shown the respect for Republican voters to come here, to express their views, honestly, candidly, and directly, and to take your questions. I have respect for every man and woman on this stage because they’ve done it.”

Christie said, “This guy [Trump] has not only divided our party, he’s divided families all over this country. He’s divided friends all over this country. He needs to be voted off the island, and he needs to be taken out of this process.”

39 COMMENTS

  1. What a clown car of candidates. I wouldn’t vote for any of them. Some are more embarrassing then others: Christie and Haley topping the list. The latter now finds all war to her liking loving that defense contractor money and the latter can do nothing other then bloviating for his love of doughnuts, ect. The Univision moderator was awful (and the other two not much better). No one cares about alphabet mafia issues other then defeating them, or the climate hoax other then exposing it. She ought to have been at the DNC debate… Oh, they aren’t having one….

  2. I don’t think any of them have the chops to take on “Biden”. It’s a vast swamp–way more than they imagine.

  3. You know when I watched the Chugach electric board debate I never see Democrats candidates mud sling one another during open forums. As I see Republican candidates do to one another. It’s just as Christians do openly point out one another’s faults and openly banter and argue against one another. I think Republicans need to change this behavioral response in order to develop a more unified group from its members to those preferably voting for Republican candidates. Cause the leadership only continues splitting votes as we saw in such recent case between Nicholas iii and Sarah. Republican leaders should reserve their debating and mud slinging one another at the private after parties over drinks and dinners.

    • You do not have to vote Republican. There are plenty of great 3rd party candidates out there. If we are serious about returning Freedom & Liberty to it rightful owners… us, then we must bravely vote our conscience not by fear induced by either party

  4. What little I saw reminded me of squabbling toddlers fighting over a blanket.

    Nobody “won” last night except the majority of Americans who didn’t watch.

    I suspect team Biden is laughing.

    • Trump won by not showing up and staying above the shit show that ensued. Moderators were pitiful, esp the Hispanic trollop. ‘Contestants’ were no better

      • I acknowledge the point, but not sure I agree.

        There were serious punches thrown. His absence didn’t give him a chance to rebut them.

        I suppose time will tell.

  5. What a complete “Circus Show” and “Theatrical” morass of waste and inefficiency!
    I appeal to the American Voter to implement … Logic, Reason, and Common Sense.
    Stop wasting peoples time, all of these folks need to yield, make way for #1 Candidate.
    The Primary Election will prove that the #1 Candidate is … Donald Trump!

    • Nope. He has to earn it. We don’t coronate candidates.

      I’m as concerned about the Cult of Trump as I am the corruption of Biden.

      • Mask- I accept your position, however, Trump doesn’t need to earn anything at this point. He proved for 4 years that he can do the job very successfully. He will not be coronated, but he is clearly going to be the selection.
        Your bigger issue isn’t the cult of Trump, it’s the American ideals the Biden has thrown away, bribed, bought and abused as VP and President. The lies that extend through his administration is what Americans are tired of. Even if Trump doesn’t become president, he has shown people across the nation to stand up for the good and get rid of the wrong.
        The idea of America is reignited through the time he was in office and people want to feel that freedom and liberty again. They work for us; we don’t work for them. Enough is enough.
        We as society need to look at who we are and what we want and not rely on the government to help us. We need to stop giving handouts and teach people to stand up, reach out and help others. No special groups, lobbyist, corporations, just men and woman living for the common good and uniting for a stronger nation.

        • AKNDAN, ” stop giving handouts,” like handouts to Corporations? You know, like Trump did to Pfizer with his ridiculous ” Operation Warp Speed”?

          Trump could be forgiven for this, his dumbest move ever, except Trump still maintains that his action saved 100 million lives! 🙄 I have to wonder if the Donald got bought or is it just that his EGO cannot admit a mistake?

          I’m leaning towards DeSantis, Vivek or RFK Jr. We need leadership in this Country, not an Egomaniac who cannot work with others or a Corrupted sleazy reprobate who perpetually wants the USA on a War Economy.

        • Trump does need to earn re election. Every candidate does. This is a Republic, not Saudi Arabia.

          My genuine and growing concern about the Cult of Trump is they ignore his many shortcomings and act as if they never existed. He recently expressed disappointment over Floridas pro life positions. He gave us Fauci. He championed nationwide lockdowns.

          And their belief he is some Messiah that he, and only he, can save us.

          That isn’t healthy and ignores a boatload of issues. The author of Trumps 2020 defeat was Trump.

          I don’t disagree with the concept of an American renewal. Trump may have been the man to ignite it. The majority of his positions were good for America.

          I just don’t see him as the man to carry it forward.

  6. I’m from Iowa. I’m telling you right now, Trump is likely to lose Iowa. Majority of caucus voters are just beginning the process of discerning who to vote for and almost 80% are considering someone other than Trump. The one most likely to win Iowa (not a shoe in) is DeSantis. He is doing the ground game and close up campaigning required for Iowa. He also has Gov Reynold’s, behind the scenes, support. He has gotten the endorsement of Steve Deace, and will likely get Bob VanderPlatzs endorsement too. He has a better organization than anyone in the past and is even doing better than Obama did. Remember, at this time in 2007, Hillary was about 50% in the polls to Obama’s 20%.
    Difference this time to Cruz, Huckabee, and Santorum is that DeSantis has a large war chest. Trump does not.
    DeSantis will, of course, need that war chest to battle the on-slot of media bias for Trump (including the CON-servative industry)

  7. The real question is whether any of these candidates – including Trump – will be able to take on the most likely and most formidable Democrat candidate, Michelle Obama.

    Ted Cruz called it: Biden will dodder along until their convention, then step aside and hand his delegates (and all the super-delegates) to Michelle.

  8. 60% of republicans support Trump? That’s frightening. Trump will disappear but his supporters will not. Democracy is threatened.

  9. Interesting that live coverage of the debate was not broadcasted on any of the major networks. Had to listen to it on 650 AM without the advantage of closed captioning. Didn’t want the cherry-picked version being offered. It just confirms the subjectiveness of the media. Many people would have benefited from the talking points of the debate.

  10. I’m not Trump/Trump is a big meanie is insufficient grounds to become the nominee. It got us Biden, and look how that has worked out.

    What do you stand for? I don’t care about how you feel about Trump.

  11. Number 1 issue in this election: Drain the Swamp, destroy The Deep State. This constitutional republic cannot last much longer with those agencies whittling away at it. Destroy The Swamp and Deep State and everything will straighten out. That’s Trump’s specialty. He’s been draining The Swamp for years. Why do think the Swamp Creatures are after him the way they are? The Clown Show is unable/unwilling to drain The Swamp. The Clown Show needs to get out of the way so Trump can finish the job he started.

    • Jim. He Give us all a precise and verifiable example of the deep state please. The term is tossed around as if it’s a secret cabal that is unaccountable and unknown. If you know more, please give us a few links to websites or journalistically accredited articles. This could be a big deal. Thanks in advance.

    • He quite literally hired the deep state into his administration.🤦‍♂️
      He did NOTHING to drain the swamp. What cave have you been living in?
      And there is nothing the deep state loves more than massive federal spending…like nearly $8 trillion in 4 years Trump spent as apposed to the $8 trillion Obama spent in 8 years.

    • How, exactly, has Trump been draining the swamp for years?

      Please list specific examples, including the years he was at it.

      Vote Trump if you wish, but be realistic about who and what he actually is.

  12. Geez. Republicans are presented with a thin gruel of a few diced carrots and salt but with a big fat mutton grease blob of a dumpling bobbing in the slurry.

    Pro tip: don’t vote Republican.

  13. Elmer Fudd would be a formidable candidate for the current POTUS if there were any kind of debate.
    With that being said the entrenched portion of DC (both parties included) would throw all their might against anyone that would dare to alter the Status Quo!
    Show me how m wrong!

  14. Only one candidate beats Biden by a significant margin- that is Nikki Haley.

    Republicans have a choice in the primary election. Vote for the guy that lost to Biden, and ensure defeat in November, or vote for a candidate that can beat Biden.

    We can’t have four more years of Biden. He’d let in 100 million illegals and that would end our country.

    Trump, like Biden is too old. Like Biden he is also a draft dodger who massively grew our national debt. Haley is the only candidate that I’ve heard talk about how T grew our debt by almost $8 trillion dollars. She seems to be the only one giving the debt crisis any attention. For that alone she deserves our vote.

  15. This debate is as real as World Wrestling Entertainment displays. They are the puppets for the face of the GOPe side of the Uniparty coin. There is no such thing as “going up against” Biden. Biden and all these “candidates” are vying to be place holders in the executive office. Executive power no longer rests in the president, the agencies ignore anything that threatens the regime and power structure. The visceral hatred all of these individuals have for Trump is actually the contempt and hatred they have for the American people.

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