Eight Republican presidential candidates took to the stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday night for the first debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle.
The Republican candidates who participated in the Fox News-hosted debate were 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 News hosted the two-hour debate at the Fiserv Forum, which will also host the 2024 Republican National Convention on July 15 to 18 next year.
Former President Donald Trump, the current GOP front-runner, was noticeably absent from the debate stage, opting instead to participate in a prerecorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Trump’s interview with Carlson was released on X, formerly Twitter, just before the eight Republican rivals took the debate stage.
Part 7 Here are some of the most noteworthy answers and exchanges from the debate:
Ramaswamy was quick to fire back at his fellow candidates Wednesday evening, sparring with Christie, Haley, Pence, and others in sometimes heated exchanges on foreign policy, climate change, and more.
When asked if he would support additional funding for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, Ramaswamy said he would not support an increase and added that aid for Ukraine detracts from other, more pressing concerns for Americans.
“I think this is disastrous, that we are protecting an invasion across somebody else’s border when we should be using those same military resources to prevent the invasion of our own southern border,” he said.
Ramaswamy said that the increase in financial and military support for the Ukrainian cause only pushes Russia further into the arms of China.
“We have professional politicians on this stage that will make a pilgrimage to Kyiv, to their pope [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy without doing the same thing for people in Maui or the South Side of Chicago or [the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia],” he said. “I think we have to put the interests of Americans first.”
The entrepreneur-turned-presidential candidate said that America will be made secure by ensuring that “we are strong at home.”