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Wide-ranging third Republican debate, as it transpired, was capped by anti-abortion views, name-calling, and foreign policy


Haley calls Ramaswamy 'scum' after he invokes daughter in debate

VIDEO: Mike Pence, Nikki Haley spar over federal abortion ban at RNC debate | USA TODAY
USA TODAY

It just gets worse and worse between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. When it came the entrepreneur’s turn to talk about his policy on TikTok, Ramaswamy referred to Haley and said, “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”

Haley shot back. “Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. And as Ramaswamy went on, she dismissed him, saying “you are just scum.”

Key events

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Closing summary

VIDEO: Tense GOP debate focuses on foreign policy and abortion rights
CBS Mornings

In Miami, NBC News hosted the most sober and restrained of the three Republican presidential debates thus far. Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie feuded and found common ground over a variety of topics, including border security, abortion access and social security reforms. But there was drama nonetheless, particularly between Haley and Ramaswamy, who the former UN ambassador at one point called “scum”. Donald Trump, who has an overwhelming lead among polls for the nomination, once again skipped the get-together, and reportedly will not attend the fourth debate set for next month in Alabama.

Here’s a recap of some of the biggest moments:

  • DeSantis again called for gunning down drug traffickers who cross into the US over the southern border with Mexico.

  • Christie accused TikTok of “polluting the minds of American young people all throughout this country”, and said he would ban it on his first day in the White House.

  • Scott warned of “terrorist sleeper cells” in America, while demanding more accountability for aid to Ukraine.

  • Ramaswamy called for Joe Biden to drop his re-election campaign, and accused him of not really being the president.

  • Haley said Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would love to see Ramaswamy in the White House. She did not mean it as a compliment.

Biden campaign says debate showed Republicans 'embracing Donald Trump’s losing and extreme Maga agenda'

VIDEO: Abortion-rights advocates see victories ahead of Republican debate
CBS News

The manager of Joe Biden’s re-election campaign Julie Chavez Rodriguez released a statement lumping the five Republicans who participated in tonight’s debate with Donald Trump, saying there is no daylight between their policies:

Normally, after you lose, you take a moment to reflect and course correct. But in Donald Trump’s MAGA Republican Party, apparently you double down on the same extreme agenda that was soundly rejected last night in elections across the country. That’s what we witnessed tonight: the entire Republican field once again embracing Donald Trump’s losing and extreme MAGA agenda of banning abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and rigging the economy for the ultra-wealthy at the expense of working Americans. In fact, the only thing that the American people agree with these MAGA Republicans on is that their extreme agenda has left them reeling as ‘a party of losers.’

A year from now, Americans will face a clear choice — between President Biden, who is focused on the issues impacting you, and MAGA Republicans, whose policy platform is to make things worse for you by taking away your freedoms. We’ll spend the next year making sure every American knows just that.

Noted Republican pollster Frank Luntz complimented Nikki Haley’s stance on abortion.

The GOP has been suffering at the ballot box ever since the supreme court overturned Roe v Wade last year. Just yesterday, voters in Ohio, a state that has voted Republican in the last two presidential elections, approved a constitutional amendment to protect abortion, while in Virginia, Democrats took control of the general assembly, preventing Republican governor Glenn Youngkin’s plan to pass an abortion plan.

Here’s a recap of Haley’s remarks. We’ll see if the policy does her any good in her race for the nomination, or if other Republicans follow suit:

Trump plans to skip fourth Republican presidential debate in Alabama - report

VIDEO: The third GOP presidential primary debate, in 3 minutes
Washington Post

Donald Trump did not attend tonight’s debate of Republican presidential candidates, nor the two that came before it, and CBS News reports he will not participate in the fourth debate set for next month:

Newsy — Trump advisor Chris LaCavita tells @edokeefe that Trump will not attend the fourth debate next month in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

— Olivia Rinaldi (@olivialarinaldi) November 9, 2023

That debate is set for 6 December in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Tonight was the first debate without Doug Burgum, the North Dakota governor and presidential aspirant who is basically nowhere in the polls.

Shortly after it wrapped up, he posted some sour grapes on X, formerly known as Twitter:

Tonight, voters learned why a career politician shouldn’t be the next president, and why party insiders have no business artificially shrinking the Republican field. Career politicians can’t fix what’s wrong in Washington. They’re why we’re in this mess in the first place!

— Doug Burgum (Text "DOUG" to 70177) (@DougBurgum) November 9, 2023

Abortion bans that Republicans pushed for have become a liability for the party. As the candidates search for new ways to discuss the topic, they have been softening their tones and regurgitating anti-abortion myths.

Ron DeSantis said he stands “culture of life” but noted that different states may want different things. He did not emphasize the six-week abortion ban he signed into law. Nikki Haley, who once touted her stanchly pro-life views and suggested federal action taken to limit abortions tonight said it’s unlikely that a federal ban would have support in Congress.

She also brought back misinformation about “late term abortion”, which doctors emphasize is not a medical term, and does not carry medical relevance.

Tim Scott also said that California and New York allow abortion “until the day of birth” which is false. Those states ban almost all abortions after fetal viability, around 24 weeks into pregnancy. Seven states and the District of Columbia have no restrictions on abortion. Nonetheless, less than 1% of abortions in the US are performed past 21 weeks.

Here’s more context, from the Guardian’s Carter Sherman.

Ramaswamy demands Biden 'end his candidacy now'

VIDEO: Nikki Haley to Ramaswamy: 'You have no foreign policy experience and it shows'
Fox News

As the debate concluded, Vivek Ramaswamy leveled an attack on Joe Biden, arguing he isn’t really the president and demanding he end his re-election campaign.

“I also want to close with one message to the Democrat Party: End this farce that Joe Biden is going to be your nominee. We know he’s not even the president of the United States – he’s a puppet for the managerial class,” Ramaswamy said.

“So have the guts to step up and be honest about who you’re actually going to put up, so we can have an honest debate. Biden should step aside and end his candidacy now, so we can see whether it’s Newsom or Michelle Obama or whoever else.”

'I don't judge anyone for being pro-choice', Haley says, arguing, 'We don't need to divide America over this issue anymore'

VIDEO: Third Republican Presidential Debate quick recap
13News Now

Tonight’s debate is taking place in the wake of yesterday’s election, where Republican attempts to curb abortion were turned down by voters in Ohio and Virginia. Indeed, the GOP has been on a losing streak at the ballot box on the issue ever since Roe v Wade was struck down in June 2022, and in response to a question on her abortion policy, Nikki Haley called for something of a ceasefire.

“What I’ll tell you is, as much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice, and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life. So when we’re looking at this, there are some states that are going more on the pro-life side, I welcome that. There are some states that are going more on the pro-choice side. I wish that wasn’t the case, but the people decided,” Haley said.

She also noted the long odds any nationwide abortion restriction would face getting through Congress and signed by the president, and concluded by appealing for politicians to back off the issue:

So let’s find consensus. Let’s agree on … how we can ban late-term abortions. Let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions. Let’s make sure we make contraception accessible. Let’s make sure that none of these state laws put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty for getting an abortion. Let’s focus on how to save as many babies as we can, and support as many moms as we can and stop judgment. We don’t need to divide America over this issue anymore.

Ron DeSantis said he wants to impose sanctions on Mexican cartels, a move that the Biden administration made yesterday.

The Biden administration imposed sanctions on 13 members of the Sinaloa cartel, and four of the Sonora cartel, accusing them of trafficking fentanyl.

The sanctions cut them off from the US banking system, and blocked their US assets.

Ramaswamy supports walls on borders with both Mexico and Canada

VIDEO: Republicans slowly come to realize their abortion rights disaster
MSNBC

Like many Republicans, Vivek Ramaswamy said he wanted to build a wall on the southern border. But he didn’t stop there.

Ramaswamy says he also wants to build a wall on the northern border with Canada, arguing it’s also a source of fentanyl trafficking. From his remarks:

What we need to do is stop using our military to protect somebody else’s border halfway around the world, when we’re short right here at home.

Get serious about protecting this border and then the other thing that hasn’t been discussed as the northern border, I’m the only candidate on this stage, as far as I’m aware, who has actually visited the northern border. There was enough fentanyl that was captured just on the northern border last year to kill 3 million Americans. So we got to just skate to where the puck is going, not just where the puck is. Don’t just build the wall, build both walls.

DeSantis, again, calls for shooting drug smugglers 'stone cold dead'

VIDEO: ‘The hard truth’: Mehdi grills Vivek Ramaswamy on his record and past statements
MSNBC

Ron DeSantis once again proposed hardline, legally dubious methods to improve security on the US border with Mexico, including shooting drug smugglers “stone cold dead”.

He had made a similar remark at a previous debate, and repeated it just now:

I’ll build a wall, but we’re going to designate the cartels to be foreign terrorist organizations or something similar to that. And we’re going to authorize the use of deadly force. We’re going to have maritime operations to interdict precursor chemicals going into Mexico, but I’ll tell you this, if someone in the drug cartels is sneaking fentanyl across the border, when I’m president, that’s going to be the last thing they do. We’re going to shoot him stone cold dead.

Scott joins calls to 'close our southern border'

VIDEO: Full video: Watch the third GOP presidential primary debate in Miami
MSNBC

The debaters are debating again, and one thing’s for sure: the salvoes between Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley notwithstanding, this faceoff is a much more sober affair than the previous two.

The candidates were asked how they would handle border security and fentanyl smuggled across the border. Tim Scott responded first, and called for deploying technology to secure the border.

We should close our southern border. For $10 billion, we can close our southern border. For an additional $5 billion, we could use the currently available military technology to surveil our southern border to stop fentanyl from crossing our border.

The debate is now taking another commercial break!

Shortly before it did so, Ron DeSantis earned himself some chuckles by making light of his state’s place as a destination for many retirees.

“Well, look, as governor of Florida, I know a few people on Social Security and I know it’s important,” DeSantis remarked.

The debate has entered wonky territory, as the candidates weigh in on whether they would reform the Social Security old-age benefit.

Reforming the program is considered one of the most perilous topics in Washington, so much so that it’s often referred to as the “third rail” of US politics. But Social Security is projected to be heading towards insolvency, and Chris Christie proposed raising the retirement age and cutting off high-earners from accessing it:

The fact is on Social Security, remember why it was established. It was established as a safety net program to make sure that no one would grow old in this country in poverty. That’s what we got to get back to – rich people should not be collecting Social Security.

Nikki Haley made a similar argument, while saying the retirement age, currently 65, should be recalibrated to “reflect more of life expectancy. It doesn’t do that now.”

Most candidates seemed to agree that TikTok is bad, and they all want to ban it. Both Republicans and Democrats in the Capitol seem to agree on this as well.

Montana became the first state in the US to completely ban the app in May, based on the argument that the Chinese government could gain access to user information from TikTok. But in legal proceedings challenging the ban, a federal judge expressed skepticism, saying that Montana had not provided evidence to debunk TikTok’s assertion that it does not share US user data.

More than half of US states and the federal government have banned the app on official devices.

Content creators have said that total bans would harm businesses and violate free speech rights.

The snit between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy is better watched than read.

Thus, you can see the exchange, and hear the audience’s gasps, below:

“Leave my daughter out of your voice ... You’re just scum.”

— Nikki Haley hits Vivek Ramaswamy after he brings up the fact that her daughter, like him, uses TikTok. pic.twitter.com/3CKUupHaD1

— The Recount (@therecount) November 9, 2023

Tim Scott said that Biden had sent ‘billions to Iran’, which is misleading.

Scott appears to be referring to a prisoner swap, wherein the Biden administration $6bn (£4.8bn) of Iranian oil money in exchange for the release of five American detainees. The money was not US money, but rather money owed to Iran and frozen by the Trump administration in 2018 when the US left the Iran nuclear deal.

Haley calls Ramaswamy 'scum' after he invokes daughter in debate

VIDEO: CNN anchor challenges anti-abortion activist
CNN

It just gets worse and worse between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. When it came the entrepreneur’s turn to talk about his policy on TikTok, Ramaswamy referred to Haley and said, “In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”

Haley shot back. “Leave my daughter out of your voice,” she said. And as Ramaswamy went on, she dismissed him, saying “you are just scum.”

Christie backs TikTok ban, accuses app of 'polluting the minds of American young people'

VIDEO: Watch the full, on-camera shouting match between Trump, Pelosi and Schumer | The Washington Post
Washington Post

The debate has resumed with the first question about TikTok, the much-maligned social media network that’s owned by a Chinese firm and beloved by many young people.

“Let me say this: TikTok is not only spyware, it is polluting the minds of American young people all throughout this country, and they’re doing it intentionally,” Chris Christie said. “In my first week as president, we would ban TikTok.”

Sources


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