Republican Candidates Clash in Miami Debate, Trump Absent

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Trump’s Absence Dominates Debate In the absence of Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, the remaining five candidates took the stage for the third debate in Miami. Trump’s absence highlighted his strong influence on the race, as the candidates were asked why voters should support them over the former president. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized Trump for failing to deliver on campaign promises, while former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie raised concerns about Trump’s legal problems. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy focused on attacking the establishment and corrupt media instead.

United Front on Israel Despite their differences, all five candidates expressed support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas. DeSantis and Haley called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take decisive action against the Palestinian militant group. Christie and Scott blamed President Joe Biden’s policy of appeasement for the crisis. Ramaswamy supported Israel’s right to defend itself and compared it to his pledge to use military force against drug traffickers on the US-Mexico border. However, Ramaswamy’s comment about Haley’s foreign policy approach sparked a heated response from her.

Nikki Haley Under Attack Nikki Haley found herself at the center of heated exchanges during the debate. As the lone woman in the race, Haley has been rising in the polls and has become a target for her rivals. Ramaswamy repeatedly criticized her as a war hawk, while DeSantis challenged her record on issues such as China and energy independence. Haley fired back at Ramaswamy, calling him “scum” and warning that Russia and China would be pleased if he became president.

Divisions on Abortion The candidates remained divided on the issue of abortion, which has been a contentious topic within the Republican Party. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to rescind the nationwide right to an abortion, Republicans who support new restrictions have faced backlash. Haley called for finding consensus between anti-abortion convictions and those who do not support stricter limits, citing the recent voter backlash in Ohio. Scott, on the other hand, proposed a national 15-week limit on abortion but received no support from the other candidates. Haley argued against judgment and advocated for individual states to decide their own limits, a sentiment echoed by DeSantis.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Los Angeles Times

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