UNITED STATES NEWS

Watch: Republican candidates participate in first presidential debate of 2024 election cycle

Aug 23, 2023, 5:47 PM

Eight Republican candidates are set to meet on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday night in what may be the biggest moment in the GOP’s young 2024 presidential primary so far.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a distant second to Trump in many polls, is betting that a strong showing will cement his status as the strongest alternative to the former president despite his many stumbles.

DeSantis’ team sees rising newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur, as a threat, while South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence have positioned themselves to compete.

The debate also features a handful of aggressive Trump critics led by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose anti-Trump message is the centerpiece of his campaign despite the former president’s continued popularity in the party.

Other lesser-known candidates including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are largely trying to introduce themselves to voters across the country to help qualify for the second debate.

The overwhelming front-runner in the contest, former President Donald Trump, won’t participate.

United States News

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Watch: Republican candidates participate in first presidential debate of 2024 election cycle