Takeaways From the First 2024 Republican Primary Debate

Eight Republican presidential candidates took to the stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday evening for the primary debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle. 

The Republican candidates who participated within the Fox Information-hosted debate had been North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. 

Fox Information hosted the two-hour debate on the Fiserv Discussion board, which will even host the 2024 Republican Nationwide Conference on July 15 to 18 subsequent yr. 

Former President Donald Trump, the present GOP front-runner, was noticeably absent from the controversy stage, opting as a substitute to take part in a prerecorded interview with former Fox Information host Tucker Carlson. Trump’s interview with Carlson was launched on X, previously Twitter, simply earlier than the eight Republican rivals took the controversy stage. 

Listed below are among the most noteworthy solutions and exchanges from the controversy:  

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“To start with, I’m a really pro-life governor in a pro-life state, and this concern is essential,” Burgum mentioned when requested about abortion.

However the North Dakotan added that regardless of his private opposition to abortion, he didn’t consider in a federal abortion ban. He cited the tenth Modification of the U.S. Structure as the explanation for his opposition to a nationwide ban.

“Within the Structure—during which the states created the federal authorities, not the opposite manner round—it says there are particular duties allowed to the federal authorities, delegated to them by the states. The remaining are left to the states or to the folks,” Burgum mentioned.

He mentioned that “we have to get again to freedom and liberty on this nation,” and famous that the federal authorities typically will get concerned in state and native points it has no enterprise in.

When requested concerning the crime wave that’s been hitting cities since 2020, Burgum famous that there was little discuss a criminal offense wave in small-town America.

“As a result of in small cities, neighbors assist neighbors, folks perceive one another,” he mentioned. “If a farmer will get sick, everyone comes collectively and helps him. There’s accountability. There’s transparency.”

Burgum mentioned that America wants somebody within the White Home with small-town values as a result of “that’s our highway again” to getting the nation again on observe once more. 


Christie addressed the issues on the southern border. He laid out his plan for addressing the hundreds of thousands of unlawful immigrants who’ve already come to the USA.

“The very first thing we have to do is to cease any extra from coming. That’s the very first thing we have to do,” the previous New Jersey governor mentioned.

As for many who have already come right here, he mentioned, “We’ve got to have regulation and order on this nation. We’ve got to implement the regulation.”

What which means, Christie mentioned, is that the U.S. must ensure that the individuals who come right here illegally should not “rewarded for being right here illegally.”

He mentioned that there have been large numbers of “great folks” from around the globe “ready in line and following the regulation to attempt to come right here and pursue the American dream.”

Christie additionally cited China’s position within the circulation of lethal fentanyl pouring throughout the border.

“With China, we are able to’t take our eyes off the ball,” the New Jerseyan mentioned. “Sure, it’s essential that we safe the border, essential. However China is sending these chemical compounds to the [Mexican] drug cartels for them to create the fentanyl that’s killing lots of of hundreds of our residents.”

He mentioned that the Chinese language are “partaking in an act of battle in opposition to us, killing our residents.”

“We [had] higher make that Precedence One in our discussions with China,” he added.


“Our nation is in decline,” the Florida governor mentioned. “This decline will not be inevitable. It’s a selection. We have to ship [President] Joe Biden again to his basement and reverse American decline.”

DeSantis added, “We should reverse Bidenomics in order that middle-class households have an opportunity to succeed once more.”

“We can not succeed as a rustic if you’re working arduous and you’ll’t afford groceries, a automobile, or a brand new residence whereas Hunter Biden could make lots of of hundreds of {dollars} on awful work,” he mentioned. “That’s improper.”

“We additionally can not succeed when the Congress spends trillions and trillions of {dollars},” the Floridian added. 

“These wealthy males north of Richmond have put us on this state of affairs,” he mentioned, echoing singer Oliver Anthony’s viral hit music “Wealthy Males North of Richmond.” The Fox Information hosts had talked about the music earlier than asking DeSantis concerning the economic system.

“Lastly, we have to decrease your fuel costs,” the governor added. “We’re going to open up all vitality manufacturing. We will likely be vitality dominant once more on this nation.”

He emphasised his file on the economic system in Florida.

“I confirmed it may very well be carried out within the state of Florida,” he mentioned. “I pledge to you as your president, we are going to get the job carried out, and I can’t allow you to down.”

Biden’s marketing campaign didn’t instantly reply to The Each day Sign’s request for remark. In a written assertion Aug. 10, Biden mentioned the most recent shopper value index “reveals our economic system stays sturdy.”

Requested if he would help sending U.S. particular forces throughout the border to Mexico to close down fentanyl labs and cease prison cartel exercise, DeSantis mentioned, “Sure, and I’ll do it,” with out hesitation. 

“We’ve got to reestablish the rule of regulation and we’ve got to defend folks,” DeSantis mentioned of the state of affairs alongside the southern border. 


Haley, the one lady on the controversy stage, joked as she intervened in an argument between Ramaswamy and Christie on local weather change: “That is precisely why Margaret Thatcher mentioned, ‘In order for you one thing mentioned, ask a person. In order for you one thing carried out, ask a lady.’” 

She described herself as unapologetically pro-life, however pushed for Republicans to cease “demonizing” the difficulty of abortion, calling for Individuals to rally round consensus. That comment provoked a rebuke from Pence: “To be sincere with you, Nikki, you’re my buddy, however consensus is the other of management … it’s not a states-only concern, it’s an ethical concern.” 

Pence known as for minimal requirements on abortion in each state, a ban after 15 weeks of gestation, after the child is able to feeling ache. However this is able to take “unapologetic” management that “stands on precept,” he mentioned. 

“Be sincere with the American folks: We haven’t had 45 pro-life senators in over 100 years, so no Republican president can ban abortions any greater than a Democrat president can ban all these state legal guidelines,” Haley fired again. “Don’t make ladies really feel like they must determine on this concern, when you understand we don’t have 60 Senate votes.” It takes 60 votes within the Senate to finish a filibuster.

Haley notably sparred with Ramaswamy on international coverage, insisting that in Ukraine, a “win for Russia is a win for China,” and accusing him of placing down “everyone on this stage.” 

“Ukraine is the primary line of protection for us,” she mentioned, as Ramaswamy repeatedly interjected to say that her remarks had been false. “The issue that Vivek doesn’t perceive is, he needs at hand Ukraine to Russia. He needs to let China eat Taiwan. He needs to go and cease funding Israel. You don’t try this to pals. What you do as a substitute is, you’ve got the backs of your folks … we try to stop battle.”

“You don’t have any foreign-policy expertise, and it reveals,” Haley informed Ramaswamy, including for emphasis: “It reveals!” 


Hutchinson accused Trump of undermining respect for the U.S. justice system, attempting to tie the previous president to the crime concern.

“One, implement the regulation in the case of crime,” the Arkansan mentioned. “Secondly, this cope with the problem of fentanyl, and it’s each about stopping the fentanyl coming from Mexico, but it surely’s additionally about schooling of our younger folks, ensuring that we’ve got the instruments which are wanted for dependancy counseling.” He famous that he expanded such counseling in Arkansas.

“Nobody likes to see an America with smash-and-grab in our interior cities,” Hutchinson added, referring to the latest phenomenon of coordinated mass-mob robberies. “As president of the USA, that can cease.”

“It begins on the high with a respect for our justice system, that our former president who’s beneath indictment has undermined by attacking judges, by attacking prosecutors, by attacking the system, and saying he’s aggrieved,” the previous Arkansas governor added.

Trump’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Hutchinson’s assault.


Pence defended his place on Ukraine, his dealing with of the transition of energy after the 2020 presidential election and his file as former vice chairman. 

“I wish to let the Ukrainians combat and drive [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians again out into Russia,” he mentioned, whereas claiming Ramaswamy is searching for a “giveaway” by Ukraine to give up land to Putin. 

“I’ve a information flash,” Ramaswamy fired again. “The united states doesn’t exist anymore. It fell again in 1990.”

Pence and Ramaswamy engaged in different heated exchanges through the debate as effectively. 

Whereas Pence touted his file as a political chief, he additionally known as Ramaswamy a “rookie” and mentioned “now will not be the time for on-the-job coaching.” 

Ramaswamy didn’t instantly reply to The Each day Sign’s request for remark. 

When the candidates had been requested if they’d help Trump if he’s once more the nominee, Pence did elevate his hand after a number of different candidates did so. Hutchinson was the one candidate to not elevate his hand.

Pence spoke clearly of his pro-life views and promised that as president, the American folks would have a “champion for all times” within the White Home. Pence indicated he would help a nationwide regulation banning abortion at 15 weeks of being pregnant, when a child within the womb is ready to really feel ache. 


Ramaswamy was fast to fireplace again at his fellow candidates Wednesday night, sparring with Christie, Haley, Pence, and others in typically heated exchanges on international coverage, local weather change, and extra.

When requested if he would help further funding for Ukraine within the face of the Russian invasion, Ramaswamy mentioned he wouldn’t help a rise and added that assist for Ukraine detracts from different, extra urgent considerations for Individuals.  

“I feel that is disastrous, that we’re defending an invasion throughout any person else’s border once we ought to be utilizing those self same army sources to stop the invasion of our personal southern border,” he mentioned.

Ramaswamy mentioned that the rise in monetary and army help for the Ukrainian trigger solely pushes Russia additional into the arms of China.

“We’ve got skilled politicians on this stage that can make a pilgrimage to Kiev, to their pope [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy with out doing the identical factor for folks in Maui or the South Facet of Chicago or [the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia],” he mentioned. “I feel we’ve got to place the pursuits of Individuals first.”

The entrepreneur-turned-presidential candidate mentioned that America will likely be made safe by guaranteeing that “we’re sturdy at residence.”


Scott defended his file on points corresponding to federal spending and abortion. He spoke passionately about his pro-life file and the necessity for federal laws to restrict late-term abortions.

“We can not let states like California, New York, and Illinois have abortions on demand up till the day of delivery,” Scott mentioned a couple of nationwide abortion ban. “It’s immoral. It’s unethical. It’s improper.”

The South Carolina senator mentioned that we should have a president “who will advocate and combat for at minimal a 15-week restrict” on abortion. He known as himself a “100% pro-life conservative.”

Scott mentioned that the Declaration of Independence outlined our rights as coming from our Creator and that amongst these rights is the suitable to life.

“That is a matter we should resolve,” he mentioned. “We are able to’t depart it to Illinois. We are able to’t depart it to Minnesota. We should resolve that concern with a 15-week restrict at minimal.”

In his closing remarks, Scott spoke concerning the attainability of the American dream.

“I used to be a disillusioned younger man rising up in a single-parent family mired in poverty, and I questioned if the American dream was actual for a child like me,” Scott mentioned. “I can stand earlier than you right now and say that the dream is alive. It’s effectively, and it’s wholesome.”

Scott mentioned that his single mom labored arduous to place meals on the desk.

He mentioned that she taught him that if “you’re able-bodied, you’re employed. In case you take out a mortgage, you pay it again. In case you commit a violent crime, you go to jail. And if God made you a person, you play sports activities in opposition to males.” The latter is a reference to organic males searching for to play on women’ and ladies’s athletic groups.

Observe The Each day Sign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for extra clips and information from the controversy.

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