Simi Valley, California, Sept 27 (The Street Press) – At a messy presidential debate on Wednesday, Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans argued with each other. They criticized the former president, Joe Biden (who is a Democrat), and talked about various topics like China, immigration, and the economy.
However, when the debate concluded, none of the seven candidates seemed to have had a standout moment that could change the course of the primary race. This race has been mainly led by Trump for months, even though he’s facing four criminal indictments, which were hardly talked about during the two-hour broadcast.
Trump, who was ahead of his closest rival for the nomination by a significant 37 percentage points in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, decided not to participate in the debate, just like he did in the previous one in Wisconsin last month.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, during his initial response, criticized Trump for his absence and for increasing the national debt by trillions of dollars. DeSantis stated, “He should be on this stage tonight,” earning applause from the audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. “He owes it to you to defend his record”.
DeSantis, who saw a decline in his poll numbers after being viewed as the leading alternative to Trump, has recently become more vocal in criticizing the frontrunner, a departure from months of avoiding direct confrontation.
Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey and a frequent Trump critic, joined in by suggesting that Trump was “afraid” and playfully calling him “Donald Duck” for missing the debate.
Meanwhile, Mike Pence, who served as vice president under Trump from 2017 to 2021, offered a gentle critique of Trump’s tendency to centralize power in the federal government, pledging to return authority to the states. Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley expressed her belief that Trump had taken an incorrect approach with China, focusing solely on trade instead of addressing broader security concerns.
Biden, the expected Democratic nominee for the November 2024 election, faced criticism from the Republican candidates for his management of the economy and the situation at the southern border with Mexico.
However, despite their concerns about Biden, the candidates themselves, most of whom had low single-digit standings in national polls, primarily focused on attacking each other throughout the evening.
Similar to the first debate in August, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, who is a political newcomer running for the Republican presidential nomination, repeatedly provoked the frustration of his more seasoned opponents.
Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, expressed her frustration with Ramaswamy when he defended his use of TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media platform that has raised security concerns among U.S. officials. She told him, “Every time I hear you, I feel a little dumber,” even though Ramaswamy claimed he uses the app to engage with young voters.
During the debate’s concluding portion, moderator Dana Perino asserted that as long as the candidate field remained divided among multiple contenders, Trump’s nomination appeared to be inevitable.