HomeTop StoriesTakeaways from the first 2024 Republican presidential debate

Takeaways from the first 2024 Republican presidential debate

By James Elephant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nominee captured voters’ attention during the party’s first debate on Wednesday, in the absence of front-runner Donald Trump, the former president, who sidestepped the event.

Here are some conclusions from the debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:


In his first political debate, Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, was widely expected to be a wildcard. He soon learned that fire brings fire.

Ramaswamy, a businessman with no political experience who has shown a rise in some polls, branded his rivals “professional politicians” and “bought and paid for”. That brought howls of protest from others on stage.

He also called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 44, a “super PAC doll.” DeSantis was supported throughout his run by an entrenched political action committee, Never Back Down.

Mike Pence, 64, defending his four-year record as Trump’s vice president, was the first to attempt to downsize Ramaswamy. “We don’t need to bring in a rookie, we don’t need to bring in people with no experience,” Pence said.

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Penny’s problem? There seemed to be more supporters of the outsider Ramaswamy in the audience than of the former vice president, illustrating how difficult it is for his candidacy to gain traction. His criticism provoked a stream of boos.

That didn’t stop former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 60, from slaying Ramaswamy as he famously took down Senator Marco Rubio during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I’m tired of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing here tonight,” Christie said.

Then Christie continued.

“And the last person in any of these debates. . . standing in the middle of the stage and saying, ‘What’s a skinny kid with a strange last name doing here,’ was (Democrat) Barack Obama. And I’m afraid we’re dealing with the same type of amateur tonight,’ Christie said.


How can you run the economy when the Biden administration insists it’s in good shape and inflation is cooling? For the candidates on the debate stage, it was by talking about how ordinary Americans struggle with the cost of things like groceries, fuel, and cars.

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The first question of the debate gave Republicans a free chance to criticize the so-called “Bidenomics,” the nickname given to Democratic President Joe Biden’s economic policies.

It was a topic DeSantis had been waiting for. He has increasingly brought up the issue of affordability as he reframes his campaign message in an effort to gain ground on Trump. And he was ready with a line.

“If you work hard and can’t afford groceries or a car or a new house when Hunter Biden can make hundreds of thousands of dollars from worthless paintings, that’s wrong,” DeSantis said, referring to the president’s son.

Many Americans who voted for Biden in 2020 say they believe the economy has fared poorly under his leadership and they may not vote for him in the 2024 election, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released this week shows. month has been released.

Forty-two percent of 2020 Biden voters said in the poll that the economy was “worse” than in 2020, compared to 33% who said it was “better” and 24% who said it was “about the same.”

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(Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Colleen Jenkins and Howard Goller)

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