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GOP Candidates Debate in Preparation for 2024 Presidential Election

By Leah Del Orbe

From August to December of this year, there has been a drop from eight to five Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election. Three people of color are currently on the ballot, one being a woman, and the Republican debates of 2024 contain candidates of different backgrounds, perspectives and values. With Donald Trump’s continued absence, the group of diverse candidates have the platform to properly advertise their policies to Republican voters. 

Present on the stage during the first Republican Debate were Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND), Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), former Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), former Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC), former Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), former Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Candidates Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis were quick to remind Ramaswamy about his relative lack of experience, while Haley was critical of his foreign policies. Ramaswamy’s presence in the debate was more emphasized when he became the only candidate to completely defend and support Trump. On the topic of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Ramaswamy and DeSantis discussed redirecting funds aiding Ukraine to securing the southern border with Mexico.

Source by Guneet Hanjra

Presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy makes comments towards candidate Nikki Haley.

“The United States is always going to defend democracy and countries that are trying to defend themselves,” social studies teacher Mr. Novak said. “It’s important that the U.S. navigate foreign policy by creating compromises that help everyone.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson no longer qualified at the start of the second debate, leaving seven candidates. The debate became more aggressive as candidates began to be more critical of each other and Donald Trump's lack of presence on the stage and actions during his time in office. Illegal immigration became a prominent issue of this night. Ramaswamy’s stance on the topic caused controversy and drew criticism, as he called for revoking birthright citizenship. The entrepreneur discussed that children of unauthorized immigrants should be deported along with their parents.

“This isn't fair to families that want the best for their children,” sophomore Mia Campuzano said. “They deserve a chance at the American Dream, not to get deported.”

“I agree with Ramaswamy’s policies as I do not believe it is fair for the American taxpayers to provide for people who arrive in our country without authorization,” sophomore Alexander Krawczyk said. “Furthermore, it is unjust against citizens who have gone through the tedious process of entering the country legally.”

The third debate was narrowed down to only five candidates. Former Vice President Mike Pence had dropped out of the race, Governor Doug Burgum no longer qualified and Trump had still not made an appearance. A feud had emerged between Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley, which both made apparent during the debate. Haley had previously mentioned Ramaswamy’s use of TikTok as a platform to grow his audience. In response to the criticism, Ramaswamy mentioned that the former Governor’s daughter had used the platform as well. Discussion about foreign policy became called for after the Israel-Hamas conflict emerged between the last and current debate. On the topic of foreign relations, Vivek Ramaswamy continued his support of halting monetary support to Ukraine.

The recent fourth GOP debate had the smallest number of candidates yet and was held between only Ramaswamy, Haley, Christie and DeSantis. This debate involved a heated and extremely confrontational exchange between all the candidates. DeSantis and Ramaswamy were particularly critical of Nikki Haley, who had been gaining significant support. The pair had brought attention to the wealthy donors of her campaign. Ramaswamy was also particularly critical of Haley’s interventionist views on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. At this point, Christie stepped in to defend Haley, calling Ramaswamy an “obnoxious blowhard” before again mentioning his inexperience. Christie, an avid opponent of Trump, had also criticized all his opponents for being hesitant to oppose the former President. 

Currently, the three candidates deemed to have the best chance against Trump are Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. They have all been promoting drastically different policies and providing different perspectives to distinguish themselves and potentially win support over the former President. Polling for Ron DeSantis has been gradually decreasing since the beginning of the debate while Ramswamy and Haley have been rising. Considering the different and new ideas that this group of candidates brings, the result of the 2024 presidential election seems unpredictable.


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