The third Republican debate is set to take place in Miami, Florida, with five candidates ready to take the stage. However, former President Donald Trump has chosen to hold a rally in Hialeah, Florida, instead of participating in the debate. This decision has sparked criticism from other candidates, who accuse him of avoiding a direct confrontation with his political rivals.
Christie, one of the contenders, stated that Trump was ‘afraid’ to engage in a face-to-face debate with the rest of the field. DeSantis echoed this sentiment, suggesting that Trump was unwilling to confront his record in front of the American people. Despite these criticisms, Trump remains a dominant figure in the Republican primary field, consistently polling well ahead of any other candidate.
Five Republican presidential candidates will take the stage tonight for the third GOP primary debate in Miami. pic.twitter.com/g9Uay2leeg
— Straight Arrow News (@StraightArrow__) November 8, 2023
Several candidates who participated in the previous debates failed to qualify for the third round. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, despite qualifying for the first two debates, did not meet the nationally polling requirements for the third debate. It is speculated that he may withdraw from the race in the coming weeks.
Governor Hutchinson, who was on stage at the first debate, also failed to qualify for the second and third debates. Despite this setback, he has not yet withdrawn from the race. Other candidates, including Ryan Binkley, Suarez, Pence, Elder, Johnson, Hurd, and former Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton, have all dropped out of the race.
REPUBLICAN DEBATE: WILL DESANTIS AND HALEY TAKE FIGHT TO TRUMP OR EACH OTHER? (Reuters)
An intensifying rivalry between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley could dominate Wednesday’s Republican debate as the two 2024 U.S. presidential hopefuls seek to present themselves as their… pic.twitter.com/nfvGJbTkxg
— FXHedge (@Fxhedgers) November 8, 2023
In an interesting twist, conservative radio host Larry Elder and author Perry Johnson, both of whom have withdrawn from the race, have endorsed Trump. Former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who also withdrew from the race, has endorsed Haley. Pence and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez have not yet announced their endorsements.
On the eve of the debate, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as Trump’s White House press secretary, issued her official endorsement of Trump. In her statement, she praised the policies of the Trump era and criticized the current administration.
In the lead-up to the debate, candidates have been taking shots at each other. Haley released a video titled ‘These Boots are Made for Lying,’ which criticizes DeSantis’ record on energy and his stance on fracking. The Nikki Haley for President campaign accused DeSantis of being willing to lie during the upcoming debate.
To qualify for the third debate, candidates needed to garner 70,000 unique donors, including 200 from at least 20 different states. They also needed to earn 4 percent in two different national polls or 4 percent in one national poll and 4 percent in two separate statewide polls in two of the four early primary states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
As the third Republican debate approaches, it is clear that the race for the 2024 GOP nomination is heating up. With Trump choosing to hold a rally instead of participating in the debate, the remaining candidates will have a chance to make their case to the American people without his dominating presence on the stage.