SECOND Republican debate begins: Seven candidates take the stage for the second presidential debate – Ron DeSantis in need of a star performance
- Seven Republican candidates took the stage for the debate Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.
Candidates are hoping for a stunning performance in the second Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, as many still view the event as a race for second place.
Political strategists tell DailyMail.com that Ron DeSantis needs to make sure he is a star on the debate stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Others say Vivek Ramaswamy needs another breakout moment.
Seven candidates qualified for the debate stage: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; biotechnology entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador; South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott; former Vice President Mike Pence; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
Seven Republican candidates spoke Wednesday night during the second Republican primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
But with all candidates still far behind Trump, many still view the debate as part of the race for second place.
Meanwhile, Trump skipped the event to make remarks to unionized auto industry workers in a Detroit, Michigan, suburb on Wednesday evening — including an hour before the GOP debate.
Democrats trolled the event with a plane circling the library trailing a banner reading: “GOP 2024: A race for the extreme MAGA base.”
Trump set a precedent last month by skipping the first primary debate with eight candidates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He instead sat down for a lengthy interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who once again sought to overshadow the debate by airing it just five minutes before the debate began.
Trump suggested he might bypass all primary debates, noting that the events are not convenient for him since no candidate can match his numbers in the polls.
On Monday, during a campaign stop in Summerville, South Carolina, the ex-president called the Republican primary debates “stupid.”
“Basically, it’s a job interview. You watch the debates, it’s a job interview, and right now I’m not too interested,” he said at a campaign office.
Reagan Foundation & Institute President David Trulio expressed disappointment to DailyMail.com that Trump would not participate in the debate.
“We would like any candidate who meets the qualifications of the RNC to be here and that, of course, includes President Trump,” Trulio said. “He chose not to sign the pledge as I understand it, which therefore prevents him from taking the stage, but he has met the other requirements set by the RNC.”
Democrats trolled the debate with a plane flying over the library trailing a banner reading: “GOP 2024: A race for the extreme MAGA base.”