HomeTop StoriesFive memorable moments from a spirited GOP debate

Five memorable moments from a spirited GOP debate

The first Republican presidential primary debate concluded Wednesday after nearly two hours, marked by fierce attacks among the candidates.

The eight contenders on the podium in Milwaukee each had their moments, but a few really stood out.

Here are five memorable moments from the first debate:

Haley and Ramaswamy compete over foreign policy

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy clashed in one of the most tantalizing conversations of the debate.

When the moderators asked the candidates if they would support providing additional funding to Ukraine to help defend the country against Russia’s invasion, Ramaswamy was the only candidate who raised his hand and immediately declared that he would not want to leave the country. would support.

Haley fired off, saying the president needs “moral clarity” to know the difference between right and wrong, and characterized Ukraine as a “pro-American country” that was invaded by a “thug” in Russian President Vladimir Putin. She also denounced Ramaswamy for comments he has made about US support for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel.

“The problem that Vivek doesn’t understand is that he wants to extradite Ukraine to Russia. He wants China to eat Taiwan. He wants to stop funding Israel. You don’t do that with friends. What you do instead is you have your friends’ backs,” Haley said.

Ramaswamy said Haley’s claims about his views were false. Haley was referring to comments the conservative entrepreneur has made that he would end US support for Ukraine and instead negotiate a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia, only defend Taiwan against any Chinese aggression until the US is able to to guarantee independence in the field of semiconductor production and aid to Israel in a few years.

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“I wish you the best of luck in your future career on the boards of directors of Lockheed and Raytheon,” Ramaswamy told Haley. “You’ve been telling this lie all week, Nikki.”

Haley responded with one of the most memorable statements of the night: “You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows,” she said of Ramaswamy.

Pence defends the January 6 actions

One of the key points of the debate came when the moderators asked most candidates if they believed former Vice President Mike Pence had acted properly in overseeing the certification of the 2020 election on January 6, 2021.

Every candidate who was asked the question supported Pence, albeit sometimes with varying levels of enthusiasm.

Senator Tim Scott (RS.C.) said Pence “did absolutely the right thing,” while former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said in a notable moment that Pence “deserves our gratitude as Americans” for prioritizing the Constitution over Trump.

But after an extensive discussion of Trump and Pence’s actions, the former vice president briefly asked moderators on Jan. 6 to explain his own actions.

“It’s not about January 2021. It’s about January 20, 2017,” he said, referring to the time he was sworn in as vice president. “I put my left hand on Ronald Reagan’s Bible. I raised my right hand and took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and it ended with a prayer, “So help me God.”

“Every day for four years I’ve promised to keep that oath, and everyone on this podium needs to make it clear if they’re going to do the same,” Pence added.

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“He asked me to ask him about the Constitution, and I chose the Constitution and always will,” Pence said of Trump.

Christie Says Ramaswamy “Sounds Like ChatGPT”

Christie delivered perhaps the most memorable insult of the evening while speaking to Ramaswamy, who was often targeted on stage.

While Ramaswamy criticized policies designed to tackle climate change, Christie stepped in and labeled him an “amateur.”

“I’m tired of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing here tonight. The last person in one of these debates … who stood in the middle of the stage and said, ‘What is a skinny boy with a strange last name doing here?’ was Barack Obama. And I’m afraid we’re dealing with the same type of amateur on stage tonight,” said Christie.

Ramaswamy fired back, telling Christie to “give me a hug, just like you did Obama, and pick me like you did Obama.”

That was a reference to Christie’s beach walk with Obama in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey.

Earlier in the debate, Ramaswamy had drawn comparisons to Obama by presenting himself as an entrepreneur, not a politician – in a sense similar to Obama’s.

“Let me answer a question that’s on everyone’s mind at home tonight. ‘Who the hell is this thin man with a funny last name, and what the hell is he doing in the middle of this debate phase?’” Ramaswamy said.

Obama spoke in 2004 about how the US could be a home even for himself, a “skinny kid with a funny name.”

Pence and Ramaswamy argue over office experience

Christie was not alone in criticizing Ramaswamy for lacking political experience.

Pence described the 38-year-old as a “newbie” and argued that the next president would not need “on-the-job training.”

“You have people on this stage who don’t even want to talk about issues like Social Security and Medicare. I mean Vivek, you said the other day that a president can’t do everything. Well, I’ve got news for you, Vivek: I’ve been in a hallway, I’ve been in the West Wing. A president in the United States must face every crisis America faces,” Pence said.

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Ramaswamy replied, ‘This is not so complicated, guys. Unlock US energy, drill, frack, burn coal, embrace nuclear power. Put people back to work by no longer paying them to stay at home.” He added that he didn’t understand Pence’s comment “exactly,” but that the policies he listed are initiatives that a president can take.

“I’m going slower this time,” Pence replied.

“Joe Biden has weakened this country at home and abroad. Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We don’t have to bring in a rookie. We don’t need to bring in people with no experience,” he continued.

“Now that everyone has memorized the slogans, we can actually have a real discussion,” Ramaswamy replied.

Ramaswamy said the “real” question is whether people want “incremental reform,” referring to the others on the podium, or “revolution.”

Ramaswamy calls climate change a ‘hoax’

The candidates largely avoided raising climate issues during the debate, but Ramaswamy was the most vocal in his opposition to efforts to introduce policies to tackle climate change, calling the idea a “hoax.”

He argued that he is the only candidate who can make this statement because of his position as an outsider and not as a politician influenced by money.

“I am the only person on stage who is not bought and paid for, so I can say this: The climate change agenda is a hoax,” said Ramaswamy.

After saying this, he received some boos from the audience.

Ramaswamy has spoken out against the “climate change agenda” throughout his campaign, arguing that it is one of the “serious threats to freedom today.”

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