Headline RoundupNovember 9th, 2023

Five Candidates Take Stage in Third Republican Primary Debate

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The third Republican primary debate was held on Wednesday night in Florida. The Republican candidates, minus former president and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, sparred over China, energy, opioids, and more.

Details: The stage shrank from the previous debate following former Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to suspend his campaign late last month. With Trump opting not to participate, the debate featured businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Highlights: To varying degrees and with varying perspectives, all the candidates pledged support for Israel in its war against Hamas. Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” after Ramaswamy brought up Haley’s daughter having a TikTok account. Ramaswamy called Haley and DeSantis “Dick Cheney in 3-inch heels” for their views on foreign policy. DeSantis criticized Trump for not attending the debate, stating, “He should explain why we 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.” Scott voiced support for a federal 15-week abortion ban. Christie called for increasing avenues for treatment for opioid addicts.

How the Media Covered It: Similar to the previous debates, Ramaswamy and Haley’s sparring generated the most coverage. Trump, despite not taking part in the debate, was a key factor in coverage across the spectrum, with many writers diminishing the importance of the debate since the far-and-away frontrunner was absent.

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