GOP Candidates Sharpen Attacks at Miami Debate – ‘You’re Scum’
Five Republican presidential candidates took the stage in Miami Wednesday night for the third debate of the 2024 cycle, with just two months remaining before the primaries begin. The Republican hopefuls sharpened their attacks this round as the field narrows and as time runs out to upstage frontrunner Donald Trump.
While the candidates were denied the chance to debate Trump for the third straight round, the night opened with a volley of criticism against the former president. For the first question, the field was asked to explain why voters should choose them over Trump.
“Now, if you look where we are now, it’s a lot different than where we were in 2016, and Donald Trump’s a lot different guy than he was in 2016,” Governor Ron DeSantis began.
“He owes it to you to be on this stage and explain why he should get another chance. He should explain why he didn’t have Mexico pay for the border wall. He should explain why he racked up so much debt. He should explain why he didn’t drain the swamp.”
Referencing the party’s defeat this week in the 2023 0ff-year elections, DeSantis added, “He said, ‘Republicans, we’re gonna get tired of winning.’ Well, we saw last night. I’m sick of Republicans losing.”
When it was former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s turn, she made the case that Trump had been too reckless with the country’s finances and vowed to be a tougher ally of Ukraine.
“I can tell you that I think he was the right president at the right time. I don’t think he’s the right president now. I think that he put us $8 trillion in debt, and our kids are never going to forgive us for that,” Haley said.
“I think the fact that he used to be right on Ukraine and foreign issues, now he’s getting weak in the knees and trying to be friendly again. I think that we’ve got to go back to the fact that we can’t live in the past.”
We must reverse our country's decline and that is going to require leadership.
I will take the hits. I will take the arrows. I will take the barbs. Because it's not about me — it's about you. It's not about the past. It's about your future.
We are going to fight for you. I am… pic.twitter.com/smHc3H90FT
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 9, 2023
Wednesday night also marked the first GOP debate held since the bloody Oct. 7 attack against Israel by Hamas. This time, the scope of the debate centered heavily on foreign policy.
While the candidates disagreed on policy surrounding aid to Ukraine and America’s rivalry with China, the field was unified in their support of Israel in the war against Hamas.
“Hamas should release every hostage, and they should unconditionally surrender,” DeSantis told the crowd.
“I’m sick of hearing the media. I’m sick of hearing other people blame Israel just for defending itself.”
Haley to Ramaswamy: You’re just scum pic.twitter.com/meLxcAVg4a
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 9, 2023
In one heated moment, political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy took a jab at Haley for previously criticizing his campaign’s use of TikTok. In the September debate, Haley called TikTok “one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have” due to its links to the Chinese Communist Party.
“In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her daughter was actually using the app for a long time,” Ramaswamy said, prompting the audience to erupt. “So you might want to take care of your family first.”
“Leave my daughter out of your voice. You’re just scum,” Haley shot back.
“You have her supporters propping her up, that’s fine,” Ramaswamy said as the audience booed.
The fourth GOP primary debate will be held on Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Candidates will need at least 6 percent support in two national polls to appear on stage, up from 4 percent.
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