Headline RoundupDecember 7th, 2023

What Did We Learn from the Fourth GOP Debate?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Voices across the spectrum are reflecting on the outcome of the fourth, and potentially final, Republican primary debate.

“Mud Fight”: Jim Geraghty (Lean Right bias) deemed the debate a “mud fight and a circus” full of candidates with a “certain bitterness and damn-the-torpedoes attitude.” Arguing the debate platform and moderation style generated plenty of charged moments but little substance, Geraghty determines that “getting the candidates to pause, take a deep breath, and speak in paragraphs about policy specifics is just about impossible in this setup. Instead, the candidates are trying to unleash zingers or attempting to work in some overdramatized applause lines.”

“Utterly Pointless”: Frank Bruni (Lean Left bias) called the fourth Republican debate “totally, utterly pointless,” arguing, “Ramaswamy’s going nowhere. Christie’s in the same sinking boat. If the polls are credible — and they’ve at least been consistent — not one of the four people onstage in Tuscaloosa, Ala., has made meaningful progress in peeling Republican voters away from Trump and closing the enormous gap between his front-runner status and their also-ran positions.”

“White Knight”: Matt Lewis (Center bias) stated that Chris Christie played the “white knight” role for Nikki Haley, repeatedly shielding her from attacks from Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy. “She came into the debate with a target on her back, and took a lot of arrows early on. As a result, she probably delivered her least impressive performance of the year. It’s hard to imagine how bad her night would have been, absent Christie.”

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