Dec 7, 2023

RNC Fourth Presidential Primary Debate 12/06/23 Transcript

RNC Fourth Presidential Primary Debate 12/06/23 Transcript
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RNC Fourth Presidential Primary Debate 12/06/23. Read the transcript here.

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Megyn Kelly (00:08):

Welcome to the fourth and final Republican Presidential Primary Debate of the Year live from the University of Alabama. I’m Megyn Kelly, host of the Megyn Kelly Show podcast on SiriusXM.

Eliana Johnsons (00:23):

I’m Eliana Johnson with the Washington Free Beacon.

Elizabeth Vargas (00:26):

And I’m Elizabeth Vargas with News Nation and we are live on News Nation and the CW. It is make or break time for the candidates on this stage right now with the primary starting just weeks away and we have a lot to cover over the next two hours. So let’s begin with tonight’s rules, candidates will have 90 seconds to answer questions, 60 seconds to give a rebuttal at the moderator’s discretion. You will all see the timing lights that will indicate when time is up and it’s time to stop talking.

Eliana Johnsons (00:57):

And the time we have is critical over the next two hours, so we ask the audience to please keep your applause to a minimum.

Megyn Kelly (01:05):

All right, with that, let’s get started. On stage tonight, four candidates all vying to become their party’s nominee and given the state of affairs in our political system right now, one of you might very well do it. Even many Democrats now admit that President Biden is a weak candidate. Just as many Republicans acknowledge that former president Donald Trump’s multiple legal troubles could imperil his quest for a second term, all of which means one of you could wind up the leader of the free world. Having said that, Mr. Trump is nearly 50 points ahead of all of you in the national polls, 29 points ahead in Iowa where the GOP caucuses are less than six weeks away. And so as Republicans get ready to vote on whether any of you might be preferable to Mr. Trump, we begin with the question of electability.

Governor DeSantis, your campaign and its super PAC, have spent the most money, had the most high net worth donors and had a wave of momentum coming into this race after your big reelection win in Florida. You were seen by many as the candidate most likely to consolidate the non-Trump field, but here we are a month out from the first real votes and you haven’t managed to do it. In fact, Nikki Haley is beating you in New Hampshire and South Carolina now and closing in on you in Iowa. Not to mention Trump who is not only dominating in the early states but is beating you in Florida by over 30 points. Is it fair to say as Senator Tim Scott did when he dropped out that voters are telling you not no, but not now.

Ron DeSantis (02:44):

So we have a great idea in America that the voters actually make these decisions, not pundits or pollsters. I’m sick of hearing about these polls because I remember those polls in November of 2022, they said there was going to be a big red wave, it was going to be monumental and that crashed and burned. The one place it didn’t crash and burn was in the state of Florida. They weren’t predicting that I would win the way I did and I won the greatest Republican victory in the history of the state of Florida. I’m looking forward to Iowa and New Hampshire, the voters are going to be able to speak and we’re going to earn this nomination. And here’s what we need, I am sick of Republicans who are not willing to stand up and fight back against what the left is doing to this country. You’ve got to be willing to stand strong and you’ve got to be willing to beat these people.

I’m the only one running for president that has beaten these people on issue after issue. We beat the teacher’s unions when we did school choice, we beat Fauci on COVID. We beat George Soros when we removed two of his radical district attorneys. We beat the Democrats on election integrity. I have delivered results, that’s what we need for this country. And you have other candidates up here like Nikki Haley, she caves anytime the left comes after her, anytime the media comes after her. I did a bill in Florida to stop the gender mutilation of minors, it’s child abuse and it’s wrong. She opposes that bill. She thinks it’s fine and the law shouldn’t get involved with it. If you’re not willing to stand up for the kids, if you’re not willing to stand up and say that it is wrong to mutilate these kids, then you’re not going to fight for the people back home. I will fight for you and I will win for you.

Megyn Kelly (04:28):

Ambassador Haley, you left government service in 2018 with just $100,000 in the bank. Five years later you’re reportedly worth eight million thanks to lucrative corporate speeches and board memberships like you had with Boeing. Weeks ago, you met with Wall Street heavyweights including leaders from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. Several other billionaire investors are reportedly ready to endorse you or recently have all of which comes with expectations. Aren’t you too tight with the banks and the billionaires to win over the GOP’s working class base, which mostly wants to break the system, not elect someone beholden to it?

Nikki Haley (05:07):

Well, thank you, it’s great to be here. First I’ll tell you just to respond to Ron, he continues to lie about my record. I actually said his don’t say gay bill didn’t go far enough because it only talked about gender until the third grade and I said it shouldn’t be done at all that, that’s for parents to talk about, it shouldn’t be talked about with schools. In reference to donors coming on board. Look, we will take support from anybody we can take support from, but I have been a conservative fighter all my life. I was a Tea Party candidate when I became governor. We opposed every single corporate bailout we possibly could. We passed tort reform, we passed one of the toughest illegal immigration laws in the country. We passed pro-life bills. We moved in unemployment from 11% to 3%. We took on the unions and we took on Obama when it came to the unions, the Syrian refugees and everything in between.

And so I’ve had a fight and so as much as Ron says that, that’s not true, but when it comes to these corporate people that want to suddenly support us, we’ll take it. But I don’t ask them what their policies are, they ask me what my policies are and I tell them what it is. Sometimes they agree with me, sometimes they don’t. Some don’t like how tough I am on China, some don’t like the fact that I’ve signed pro-life bills, some don’t like the fact that I may oppose corporate bailouts. That doesn’t matter. That’s who I am and that’s why the most conservative grassroots group in the country, Americans for Prosperity endorsed me last week.

Ron DeSantis (06:31):

Well, [inaudible 00:06:35].

Megyn Kelly (06:31):

Go ahead.

Ron DeSantis (06:37):

Because she didn’t respond to the criticism. It wasn’t about the parents’ rights and education bill. It was about prohibiting sex change operations on minors. They do puberty blockers, these are irreversible. Talk to Chloe Cole, she went through this. Now she’s an adult. She’s warning against it. She may never be able to have kids again. That is what Nikki Haley opposed. She said the law shouldn’t get involved in that. And I just ask you, if you’re somebody that’s going to be the President of the United States and you can’t stand up against child abuse, how are you going to be able to stand up for anything?

Nikki Haley (07:08):

I never said.

Ron DeSantis (07:08):

That is the truth.

Nikki Haley (07:12):

I never said that.

Ron DeSantis (07:12):

We have it on video.

Nikki Haley (07:12):

I said that if you have to be 18 to get a tattoo, you should have to be 18 to have anything done to change your gender.

Ron DeSantis (07:19):

You said thee law should stay out of it.

Megyn Kelly (07:24):

We’re going to get to this in more detail later. Let’s finish with electability, but trust me, we’re coming back to this issue. Mr. Ramaswamy, for months you campaigned as a unifier. Then you stood up at the first debate and attacked all of your competitors as bought and paid for. The second debate, you changed your tune saying these are good people on this stage, admitting you can come across as a bit of a know-it-all and rejecting the practice of personal insults. By debate number three you called Nikki Haley, corrupt accused Ron DeSantis of wearing high heels and told Ambassador Haley, she should keep a closer eye on her daughter. Can you see how this has led some to conclude you are not in fact a unifier and to question your authenticity?

Vivek Ramaswamy (08:03):

Megyn, I think there’s a time and place for everything. We need somebody in the White House who absolutely is going to be a fighter when it counts. And I did say that there were some good people on that stage in that third debate. Doug Bergham was on that stage at that time, and I’ll say that jokingly, Ron DeSantis is a good person too. I want to go back though to Nikki Haley’s comment from earlier that she is somehow not responding to the will of these donors. Nikki, you were bankrupt when you left the UN. After you left the UN, you became a military contractor, you actually started joining service on the board of Boeing whose back you scratched for a very long time and then gave foreign multinational speeches like Hillary Clinton is and now you’re a multimillionaire. That math does not add up. It adds up to the fact that you are corrupt.

And when I said they were bought and paid for, I meant the Republican establishment, not the Democratic establishment. Now you have Reid Hoffman, the person who’s effectively George Soros junior, funding lawsuits across this country against Donald Trump to keep him off the ballot, funding left-wing causes. We discovered this week that he is one of Nikki Haley’s largest supporters. Larry Fink, the king of the woke industrial complex, the ESG movement, the CEO of BlackRock, the most powerful company in the world now supporting Nikki Haley. And to say that doesn’t affect her is false because it’s after that meeting later that day that she says that every American needs to be doxxed by having their ID, their government issued ID tied to what they say on the internet. So I think that this is far more corrupt than I even imagined when I entered politics, but I will say this, it is going to take a leader from the outside with fresh legs from the next generation to unite this country. Not the broken politicians who are puppets of the puppet masters, but the actual people in this country.

Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. I think it’s going to take somebody whose best days in life are still ahead to see a country whose best days are ahead of itself and I think I can reach that next generation better than anybody else in this race.

Megyn Kelly (10:08):

Thank you. Response?

Nikki Haley (10:14):

Megyn, first of all, we weren’t bankrupt when I left the UN. We’re people of service, my husband is in the military and I served our country as UN ambassador and governor. It may be bankrupt to him, but it certainly wasn’t bankrupt to us. Secondly, I did serve on the board of Boeing. I did a lot of work with Boeing when I was governor, they were a great partner to me. I served for 10 months and then when they decided after COVID that they wanted to go for a corporate bailout, I’ve never supported corporate bailout, so I respectfully stepped back and got off the board. I love Boeing. They build good commercial airplanes. They build airplanes for our Air force. I’m proud of them. They employ a lot of people in South Carolina, but that’s why I left the Boeing board. There’s nothing to what he’s saying. And in terms of these donors that are supporting me, they’re just jealous. They wish that they were supporting them, but I’m not going to sit there and-

Ron DeSantis (11:02):

Oh, give me a break.

Megyn Kelly (11:03):

Hold on, let me get the governor in and then I’ll go… Go, Governor deSantis. Are you jealous?

Ron DeSantis (11:03):

So Vivek, he wrote a book talking about ESG and these woke corporations in BlackRock. The idea that I want to do that in Florida, they were managing part of our pension and then when they did the ESG, I took $2 billion away from BlackRock. We took action. This ESG, they call it environment social governance, and again, Nikki is meeting with all these people, they want to use economic power to impose a left-wing agenda on this country. They want basically to change society without having to go through the constitutional process. We’ve knee capped it in the state of Florida. The next President of the United States needs to be able to go to that office on day one and end ESG. And the fact of the matter is we know from her history, Nikki will cave to those big donors when it counts and that is not accepted.

Nikki Haley (11:53):

[inaudible 00:11:55].

Megyn Kelly (11:53):

Quick, quick, quick.

Vivek Ramaswamy (11:58):

I did write that book Ron and the irony is Nikki Haley was heaping praise on me when I wrote that book, but now I worry… I was warning about the woke industrial complex in this country as a warning, apparently she read it as a how-to manual, just like she reads George Orwell’s books-

Megyn Kelly (12:14):

Okay, all right. Standby.

Vivek Ramaswamy (12:14):

… as well. And so I think that that’s actually far more dangerous than… This is really important for people to understand, we’re marching towards fascism under Biden. Jack Smith has subpoenaed every last retweet that someone has issued from Donald Trump in the year 2020. The only person more fascist than the Biden regime now is Nikki Haley, who thinks the government should identify every one of those individuals with an ID that is not freedom, that is fascism and she should come nowhere near the levers of power, let alone the White House.

Megyn Kelly (12:42):

I’ve got to get to Governor Christie, I haven’t forgotten about you.

Nikki Haley (12:44):

No, but can I just say-

Megyn Kelly (12:45):

Can you speak to-

Chris Christie (12:46):

I really appreciate that.

Megyn Kelly (12:47):

How are you doing, sir?

Chris Christie (12:47):

Good. Good to see you.

Megyn Kelly (12:48):

Can you please speak to the requirement that you said that every anonymous internet user needs to out themselves, they’re both hitting you on it.

Nikki Haley (12:57):

I would be happy to and I love all the attention fellas, thank you for that. I’ll say this, what I said was that social media companies need to show us their algorithms. I also said there are millions of bots on social media right now. They’re foreign, they’re Chinese, they’re Iranian, I will always fight for freedom of speech for Americans. We do not need freedom of speech for Russians and Iranians and Hamas. We need-

Vivek Ramaswamy (13:23):

That’s not what you said.

Nikki Haley (13:24):

… social media companies to go and-

Vivek Ramaswamy (13:25):

That’s a lie.

Nikki Haley (13:26):

… fight back on all of these bots that are happening, that’s what I said. As a mom, do I think that social media would be more civil if we went and had people’s names next to that? Yes, I do think that because I think we’ve got too much cyber bullying, I think we’ve got child pornography and all of those things, but having said that, I never said government should go and require anyone’s name.

Vivek Ramaswamy (13:47):

That’s false.

Ron DeSantis (13:48):

She said, I want your name.

Vivek Ramaswamy (13:50):

She absolutely said it.

Ron DeSantis (13:50):

As President of the United States, her first day in office, she said, one of the first things I’m going to do-

Nikki Haley (13:55):

I said we were going to get the millions of bots-

Ron DeSantis (13:57):

… all social medias, I want your name. That’s what she said.

Vivek Ramaswamy (13:57):

She want government ID to dox every American.

Ron DeSantis (14:00):

[inaudible 00:14:00]. That’s what she said, you can roll the tapes. She said, I want your name. And that was going to be one of the first things she did in office, and then she got real serious blow back and understandably so because it’d be a massive expansion of government. We have anonymous speech, the Federalist papers were written with anonymous writers, Jay Madison and Hamilton, they went under publius. It’s something that’s important, and especially given how conservatives have been attacked and they’ve lost jobs and they’ve been canceled, you know the regime would use that to weaponize that against our own people. It was a bad idea, and she should own that truth.

Nikki Haley (14:31):

[inaudible 00:14:32].

Megyn Kelly (14:31):

Let me give you 15 seconds and then there is the former governor of New Jersey who deserves some time.

Nikki Haley (14:39):

This cracks me up because Ron so hypocritical because he actually went and tried to push a law that would stop anonymous people from talking to the press and went so far to say bloggers should have to register with the state if they’re going to write about elected officials. It was in the check your newspaper, it was absolutely there.

Ron DeSantis (14:57):

Some legislator.

Vivek Ramaswamy (15:00):

She reveals her ammunition [inaudible 00:15:00] on your constitutional rights.

Megyn Kelly (15:01):

You can come up to it later.

Vivek Ramaswamy (15:02):

This is more dangerous than the Democrats.

Nikki Haley (15:03):

You’re lying.

Megyn Kelly (15:03):

This section’s over. Okay, governor Christie.

Chris Christie (15:06):


Megyn Kelly (15:07):

Just that piece.

Chris Christie (15:09):

I’m usually not somebody who gets missed, but okay, let’s go.

Megyn Kelly (15:11):

What’s happening? Okay, I got you. Listen, you endorsed Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020. You gave him an A for his first term, since then, however you’ve turned on him, calling him a liar, a loser, a con man, and someone who cannot win. You’ve even said that you got into this race just to stop President Trump, his approval rating with Republicans is currently at 81%, yours is at 25. Your best state is New Hampshire, and even there, two thirds of GOP voters say they would be angry and disappointed if you won. Respectfully, Governor, you have not stopped Mr. Trump and voters may wonder how you could possibly become the nominee of a party that does not appear to like you very much.

Chris Christie (15:54):

Yeah, well look Megyn, it’s often very difficult to be the only person on the stage who’s telling the truth and the only person who is taking on what needs to be taken on. I look at my watch now, we’re 17 minutes into this debate and except for your little speech in the beginning we’ve had these three acting as if the race is between the four of us. The fifth guy who doesn’t have the guts to show up and stand here, he’s the one who, as you just put it, is way ahead in the polls. And yet I’ve got these three guys who are all seemingly to compete with Voldemort, he who shall not be named. They don’t want to talk about it. The fact is that when you go and you say the truth about somebody who is a dictator, a bully who has taken shots at everybody, whether they’ve given him great service or not, over time, who dares to disagree with him, then I understand why these three are timid to say anything about it.

Maybe it’s ’cause they have future aspirations, maybe those future aspirations are now, or maybe they’re four years from now. But the fact of the matter is the truth needs to be told. And for us to go 17 minutes without discussing the guy who has all those gaudy numbers you talked about is ridiculous. I’m in this race because the truth needs to be spoken, he is unfit. This is a guy who just said this past week that he wants to use the Department of Justice to go after his enemies when he gets in there. And the fact of the matter is he’s unfit to be president and there is no bigger issue in this race, Megyn than Donald Trump. And those numbers prove it.

Elizabeth Vargas (17:35):

Governor Christie, we will be addressing that issue of Donald Trump in just a moment. But I’d like to first get to some questions on Israel. Governor DeSantis, tonight as we speak, the war is back on in Gaza, Israeli tanks are on the move and have surrounded the home of the leader of Hamas. Eight Americans have been held hostage in the tunnels beneath Gaza for 60 days now, American troops and warships in the Middle East are under attack. How far would you go as president to secure the release of those eight American hostages and would it include sending American forces into combat?

Ron DeSantis (18:13):

We have to look out for our people when there are hostages, commander in chief, you have to do whatever you can to get them done. But the overall issue with this is this administration is trying to hobble Israel from being able to defend itself. They have a right to eliminate Hamas and win a total and complete victory so that they never have to deal with this again. Hamas wants nothing less than a second Holocaust, they would wipe off every single Jew off the map. They would destroy the state of Israel if we could. Joe Biden will say they support Israel and then they do nothing but try to kneecap them every step of the way. You should not try to direct their war effort, we should work together with them so that they can bring Hamas to heal.

Look, I served in Iraq back in the day. I’m the only one running for president that served in the military, I understand that part of the world. It’s not the best part of the world. We do have troops there that Biden is leaving basically as sitting ducks and you have the Iranians that are attacking these troops and he’s responding with basically pinpricks. If you harm an American service member, you’re going to have hell to pay when I’m president, we are not going to let our troops be sitting ducks. We also need to look at what’s the underlying problem here, Iran. Biden is doing nothing to bring Iran to account, you got to turn the screws on them, don’t let them have any oil revenue. The money they get, they send to Hamas, they send to Hezbollah and they foment jihad throughout the Middle East. So Biden has empowered Iran just like he’s empowered other adversaries. We stand with Israel, they’re our best ally in the Middle East, we have a unique relationship with them. And you will see a strong relationship when I’m the President of the United States.

Elizabeth Vargas (19:51):

But would you send American troops?

Chris Christie (19:55):

This is [inaudible 00:19:53]. This is the problem with the first three debates, Ron gets asked a question and he doesn’t answer it. Your question was very specific, you said, would you send American troops as commander in chief? And he went on to this minute and 30 second hosanna about his knowledge of the military and what we need to do and didn’t answer your question. Look, when your President of the United States, you’re not going to have a choice whether to answer that question or not. Your generals, your Secretary of Defense, your Secretary of State, your National Security Advisor are going to present plans to you. They’re going to look at you and say, “Do we go or don’t we, Mr. President?” And you can’t give a 90-second speech about your military services. Honorable as it is.

Elizabeth Vargas (20:35):

So would you send American troops in to rescue those hostages?

Chris Christie (20:36):

I would, absolutely. Absolutely. If they had a plan which showed me that we could get them out safely, you’re damn right I’d send the American Army in there to get our people home and get them home now, and I’ll answer that question directly.

Elizabeth Vargas (20:50):

Thank you Governor Christie.

Eliana Johnsons (20:53):

Mr. Ramaswamy, you have said it was irresponsible for Ambassador Haley to call Hamas’ terrorist rampage an attack on America. And for her to quote rabidly shout, “Finish them.” The Hamas terror attack left dozens of Americans dead and was the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust. Why wouldn’t it be a good thing to finish? Hamas,

Vivek Ramaswamy (21:17):

Finish them was purposefully vague in a discussion that included Iran, which is what I objected to. And I think it’s as US president, you have to be responsible. What happened to Israel was dead wrong, what Hamas did was medieval. It was subhuman, it was immoral. And we have to call that out for what it is on October 7th. But to say that that was an attack on America fails a basic test. I mean, Nikki, if you can’t tell the difference between where Israel is in the US is on a map, I can have my three-year-old son show you the difference. That is irresponsible because it has major consequences because that doesn’t leave room for what actually is an attack on America. So I believe I have the strongest pro-Israel position actually on the stage, even though it’s a little bit different than the standard GOP talking points.

And it is this, the founding vision of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, the George Washington figure of Israel. What did he believe he believed that we don’t want as Israel to depend on the fleeting sympathies of the West and have our hands tied. I think Israel has an absolute right to defend itself to the fullest, without the US the UN or the EU or anybody else, second guessing their decisions as the Biden administration, guess what, is now starting to do. I think that’s a more deeply pro-Israel position than anybody else. And it keeps the actual lines of accountability clear because it is a pro-American position. And as leader of the United States of America, just as a father of two sons, my sole moral duty is to my family. As your next president, my sole moral duty is to you, the people of this country. That’s how I’m going to lead. So I’ll tell Bibi, you smoke the terrorists on your southern border, you go ahead and we’re rooting for you. We’re going to smoke the terrorists on our own southern border and that’s how I’m going to lead this country.

Ron DeSantis (22:56):

But Americans, we were killed in that attack.

Eliana Johnsons (22:57):

Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy.

Ron DeSantis (22:59):

Americans were killed in that attack. And so if you looked at this terrorist attack and the number of Americans, this would be one of the top 10 terrorist attacks in American history. So our own people were killed in that attack. And I think it’s absolutely appropriate to point that out and to say that we’re in this together and we are going to work with Israel so that these people are brought to justice.

Vivek Ramaswamy (23:20):

I agree with that.

Eliana Johnsons (23:22):

Ambassador Haley, I’m coming to you. Iran is on the threshold of becoming a nuclear state. The Wall Street Journal reported that Iranian military leaders gave the green light for Hamas’ attack on Israel. You said in last month’s debate that by contrast to the Biden administration’s approach to Iran, you would, “Punch them once and punch them hard.” Were you saying that it’s time to bomb Iran?

Nikki Haley (23:47):

No, I was not saying it’s time to bomb Iran. But I will tell you, I dealt with Iran every day when I was at the United Nations and they only respond to strength. What they don’t respond to is when you weaken the sanctions like they did on Iran that allowed China to send them billions to fill their proxies, what they don’t respond to is when you give $6 billion for five hostages, that only makes them want more hostages. What they don’t respond to is when they do 140 strikes on our men and women in Syria and Iraq and we do nothing but just some small shots back. You’ve got to punch them, you’ve got to punch them hard and let them know that, that’s the only way they’re going to respond. So the way you do that is you go after their infrastructure in Syria and Iraq where they’re hitting our soldiers. That’s what you do, and then that’s when they’ll back off.

The problem is you have to see that all of these are related. If you look at the fact Russia was losing that war with Ukraine, Putin had hit rock bottom, they had raised the draft age to 65, he was getting drones and missiles, drones from Iran, missiles from North Korea. And so what happened when he hit rock bottom, all of a sudden his other friend Iran, Hamas goes and invades Israel and butchers those people on Putin’s birthday. There is no one happier right now than Putin because all of the attention America had on Ukraine suddenly went to Israel. And that’s what they were hoping is going to happen. We need to make sure that we have full clarity that there is a reason again that Taiwanese want to help Ukrainians because they know if Ukraine wins, China won’t invade Taiwan. There’s a reason the Ukrainians want to help Israelis because they know that if Iran wins, Russia wins, these are all connected. But what wins all of that is a strong America, not a weak America, and that’s what Joe Biden’s given us.

Vivek Ramaswamy (25:35):

I want to say one thing about the tie to Ukraine, if I may. So foreign policy experience is not the same as foreign policy wisdom. I want everybody at home to note that I was the first person to say we need a reasonable peace deal in Ukraine. Now, a lot of the neocons are quietly coming along to that position with the exceptions of Nikki Haley and Joe Biden who still support this, what I believe is pointless war in Ukraine. And I think those with foreign policy experience, one thing that Joe Biden and Nikki Haley have in common is that neither of them could even state for you three provinces in Eastern Ukraine that they want to send our troops to actually fight for. Look at that. This is what I want people to understand. I mean she has no idea what the hell the names of those provinces are, but she wants to send our sons and daughters and our troops and our military equipment to go fight it.

So reject this myth that they’ve been selling you, that somebody had a cup of coffee stint at the UN and then makes eight million bucks after has real foreign policy experience. It takes an outsider to see this through. Look at the blank expression, she doesn’t know the names of the provinces that she wants to actually fight for. And there’s [inaudible 00:26:40] the donors right there that are playing [inaudible 00:26:43].

Chris Christie (26:43):

Enough. Enough.

Megyn Kelly (26:43):

Okay, hold on. Hold on.

Chris Christie (26:45):

Let me just say something here. His reasonable peace deal in Ukraine, he made it clear, give them all the land they’ve already stolen. Promise Putin, you’ll never put Ukraine in Russia and then trust Putin not to have a relationship with China. Let tell you something, that’s no reasonable-

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:04):

That’s not my deal. That’s not my deal, Chris.

Chris Christie (27:05):

Yes, it’s exactly what you said.

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:06):

I’ll describe my deal.

Chris Christie (27:07):

You do this at every debate.

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:08):

I’ll tell you exactly what it-

Chris Christie (27:10):

Don’t interrupt me, I didn’t interrupt you. Okay, you say this-

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:12):

Tell me about how you want to send our kids to die, go for it.

Megyn Kelly (27:13):

Mr. Ramaswamy.

Chris Christie (27:15):

You do this at every debate, you go out on the stump and you say something. All of us see it on video, we confront you out on the debate stage, you say you didn’t say it and then you back away. And I want to say what?

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:26):

I’ll tell exactly what I said, Chris.

Chris Christie (27:27):

I’m not done yet.

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:28):

Well, this is-

Chris Christie (27:28):

Now, look-

Megyn Kelly (27:29):

Hold on.

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:31):

[inaudible 00:27:30], this man is spewing nonsense.

Chris Christie (27:33):

Let me say something. This is the fourth debate, the fourth debate that you would be voted in the first 20 minutes as the most obnoxious blowhard in America. So shut up for a little while.

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:44):

I’m going to respond to that.

Chris Christie (27:45):

I want to say something-

Vivek Ramaswamy (27:50):

What’s your version on [inaudible 00:27:51].

Megyn Kelly (27:50):

We’re going to let you respond, let him finish.

Chris Christie (27:50):

I want to say something else. We’re now 25 minutes into this debate. And he has insulted Nikki Haley’s basic intelligence, not her positions, her basic intelligence. She doesn’t know regions, she wouldn’t be able to find something on a map that his three-year-old could find. Look, if you want to disagree on issues, that’s fine. And Nikki and I disagree on some issues, but I’ll tell you this, I’ve known her for 12 years, which is longer than he’s even started to vote in a Republican primary. And while we disagree about some issues and we disagree about who should be President of the United States, what we don’t disagree on is this is a smart, accomplished woman and you should stop insulting her.

Vivek Ramaswamy (28:34):

So I’m going to take this… I’m going to take several times over. So first of all, I think we’ve just learned something from Chris Christie. We learned three things-

Megyn Kelly (28:39):

Hold on. Go head.

Vivek Ramaswamy (28:44):

We learned three things right there. First of all, Chris Christie also doesn’t know what provinces in Eastern Ukraine, he actually wants us to fight for. Chris, your version of foreign policy experience was closing a bridge from New Jersey to New York. So do everybody a favor, just walk yourself off that stage, enjoy a nice meal and get the hell out this place. When it comes to Nikki, I think if you’re going to actually send your sons and daughters to go die in somebody else’s war-

Chris Christie (29:09):

While you weren’t voting-

Megyn Kelly (29:09):

Hold on.

Vivek Ramaswamy (29:10):

Excuse me, Chris, I’m speaking and I’m not done yet.

Chris Christie (29:12):

I haven’t heard a time when you aren’t speaking.

Vivek Ramaswamy (29:13):

You had your chance, and we’re going to be done. So listen up to this is if these people want to send your sons and daughters to go die in Ukraine, they’ve been arguing for it for a year, $200 billion of our taxpayer money sent over. Neither of them could even name for you the provinces that they actually want to protect. And this is the people who have been touting their so-called foreign policy experience. It is intellectual fraud. These people are lying to you. The same people who told you about weapons and mass destruction in Iraq to justify that invasion, didn’t know the first thing about it, yet they sent thousands of our sons and daughters to go die. The same people who told you the same in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is still in charge. 20 years later, seven trillion of our national debt due to these toxic neocons. You can put lipstick on a Dick Cheney, it is still a fascist neocon.

Megyn Kelly (00:00):


Vivek Ramaswamy (29:59):

And you have to see that today.

Megyn Kelly (29:59):

Thank you Mr. Ramaswamy.

Vivek Ramaswamy (29:59):

It’s Dick Cheney

Megyn Kelly (29:59):


Elizabeth Vargas (30:00):

Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy.

Vivek Ramaswamy (30:02):

And you got to see that today.

Elizabeth Vargas (30:02):

Thank you Mr. Ramaswamy.

Vivek Ramaswamy (30:02):

Dick Cheney all over again in this party.

Elizabeth Vargas (30:03):

Thank you Mr. Ramaswamy. 15 seconds.

Vivek Ramaswamy (30:08):

Name the provinces. Neither of you could even name [inaudible 00:30:11]-

Elizabeth Vargas (30:10):

Mr. Ramaswamy, thank you.

Nikki Haley (30:10):

[inaudible 00:30:12]-

Ron DeSantis (30:12):

I think we’ve had enough of this.

Chris Christie (30:12):

[inaudible 00:30:13].

Nikki Haley (30:12):

[inaudible 00:30:13] and Crimea.

Vivek Ramaswamy (30:12):

[inaudible 00:30:13].

Chris Christie (30:12):

Let me say-

Vivek Ramaswamy (30:12):

Actually, Crimea is the wrong answer, Nikki.

Megyn Kelly (30:12):

All right. The floor is Christie’s.

Chris Christie (30:20):

All right, let me just say this. This is the kind of thing where he talks about experience. I was the US attorney in New Jersey when the terrorist attacks were launched against the United States in 2001. I brought the first two cases in this country against terrorists who tried to attack us again and I know about the threat of terrorism and bullying in this country and around the world, and at that time, he was learning about the provinces in Ukraine sitting with his smart-ass mouth at Harvard. That’s what was going on. And so the fact of the matter is, and back then he was a Democrat, so the fact is-

Vivek Ramaswamy (31:02):

[inaudible 00:31:03].

Chris Christie (31:03):

The fact is that all he knows how to do-

Vivek Ramaswamy (31:04):

While you’re busy hugging Barack Obama getting him elected.

Chris Christie (31:06):

All he knows how to do-

Elizabeth Vargas (31:07):

Thank you.

Chris Christie (31:07):

All he knows how to do is insult good people who have committed their lives to public service and not say anything that moves the ball down the field for the United States.

Elizabeth Vargas (31:16):

All right, thank you Governor Christie. We are going to take a quick break, cool things down a little bit. When we come back, we’re going to tackle issues on the southern border. We’ll be back in a few minutes.

Speaker 2 (31:34):

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Speaker 1 (31:54):

Who do you think will win the debate? Text your answer to 80810.

Speaker 3 (32:07):

If you’re not careful where you put your savings, the government can essentially rob you in plain sight. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned us when he said, “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.” He’s right, deficit spending can cause inflation, which eats away at your savings even if you don’t see it at first. Is there a solution? Yes, Greenspan thought so when he said, “Gold stands in the way of this insidious process.” This is where Birch Gold Group comes in. You see, Greenspan understood that true wealth preservation can come from physical assets like gold. We’ve helped Americans diversify their IRA or 401(k) into gold for over 20 years. To get a free info kit from Birch Gold, text NOW to 989898 now. This is our gift to you. There’s no obligation and nothing to buy, just free info to help you. You diversify your hard- earned savings. Text NOW to 989898 right now.

Speaker 4 (33:04):

The Wellness Company and their doctors are medical professionals you can trust, and their new medical emergency kits are the gold standard when it comes to keeping you safe and healthy. This medical emergency kit contains an assortment of life-saving medications, including Ivermectin Z-Pak. Rest assured knowing that you have emergency antibiotics, antivirals, and antiparasitics on hand to help you and your family stay safe from whatever life throws at you next.

Kevin Sorbo (33:30):

Do you owe over $10,000 in back taxes? Kevin Sorbo here with an important message. The Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion plan to boost IRS collections. This means they could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and even seize your property. Tax Network USA, a trusted tax firm can help protect your income and assets today while quickly settling your tax debt, but you have to act now while you still have options. Call Tax Network USA today.

Speaker 5 (34:07):

I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. My son has not made money in terms of this thing about… What are you talking about? China.

Speaker 6 (34:37):

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Speaker 3 (35:06):

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Elizabeth Vargas (36:03):

Welcome back to the Republican primary debate live on NewsNation from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We are now going to go to the crisis on the southern border. Polls show immigration and the crisis are among the most pressing issues for Republican voters right now, both the issue of migrants crossing illegally into our country and the separate issue of fentanyl being smuggled in mostly through legal ports of entry. All year, NewsNation has been at the border documenting the crisis. In 2023 alone, border patrol encountered a record 2.4 million migrants. All four of you have talked tough. The question now is how realistic is the talk? So Governor DeSantis, I’d like to start with you. You have pledged to send the military to the southern border on day one of your administration with orders to shoot, “Stone cold dead anyone illegally entering with a backpack that you believe contains fentanyl.” Critics have called this a shoot first ask questions later policy that would amount to extrajudicial killing. You are a former military lawyer. Why do you think this idea of yours would be legal?

Ron DeSantis (37:14):

The drug cartels are invading our country and they are killing our citizens by the tens of thousands every year. We had a situation in Florida, there was an 18-month-old baby that was crawling on the floor of an Airbnb rental, there was fentanyl residue on the carpet and the baby died. Is this acceptable in this country? I know the elites in DC, they don’t care. They don’t care that fentanyl is ravaging your community. They don’t care that illegal aliens are ravaging our community and overwhelming our community. The commander in chief not only has a right, you have a responsibility to fight back against these people. We’re-

Elizabeth Vargas (37:50):

And does that mean shooting first?

Ron DeSantis (37:51):

It means you’re going to categorize them as foreign terrorist organizations and we will identify… Just like we would anywhere. When I was in Iraq, Al-Qaeda wasn’t wearing a uniform. You’d see anyone walking down the street, they all had man dresses on. You didn’t know if someone had a bomb, an IED attached or not. And so, you had to make a judgment based on intelligence, based on positive identification, but we’re going to be able to get the intelligence on these cartel people. And here’s the thing, if we had a wall across the southern border, which I support, this would not have happened.

We need to build a wall across the southern border. I’ll get it done and I’ll make for… Mexico is supposed to pay for it, remember. Here’s how you do that. I’m going to have fees on remittances from foreign workers when they send the money back to foreign countries, we’re going to tax it, and we’re going to build the wall with that. So yes, you should have had that, but we don’t have it, I’m going to build it, but we have to lean in on this problem. I am not going to sit there and allow mothers to lose more kids because of fentanyl overdose. I am not going to sit there and let sex trafficking go unabated or human trafficking go unabated. There’s going to be a new sheriff in town and these drug cartels better buckle up.

Elizabeth Vargas (39:04):

Thank you. Ambassador Haley, you have pledged to catch and deport all migrants who are here in this country illegally, but then you said in Londonderry, New Hampshire last month that you will not deport those who are working and paying taxes rather than feeding off the system, which is it?

Nikki Haley (39:21):

So first of all, what I said is all of the seven or 8 million illegals that have come under Biden’s watch absolutely have to go back. We have to stop the incentive of what’s bringing them over here in the first place. Biden just gave temporary protective status to 500,000 Venezuelans. That’s a half a million social security cards, that’s a half a million driver’s licenses, and I know from my time at the United Nations, the first thing they do is pick up the phone and said, “We came over, come on over,” and that’s what sends more. You have to go and deport these people, so they know it can’t happen again. For those that have been here longer than that, we’ve got to start seeing, who is it? How long have they been here? Have they been vetted? Have they paid taxes? Have they been working? And figure out who else is out there.

But what I know is my parents came here legally, they put in the time, they put in the price, they are offended by those that are coming illegally. We can’t let them skip the line, but when you talk about fentanyl like you did before, let’s look at something else. Yes, I think we should send special operations over and take out the cartels. I think we should do a remain in Mexico policy, so they never step foot in US soil in the first place, but look at where fentanyl came from. Let’s go to the heart of the matter. It came from China.

That’s why we need to end all normal trade relations with China until they stop murdering Americans with fentanyl. I promise you, they need our economy. They will immediately stop that, but this is where Trump went wrong. Trump was good on trade, but that’s all he was with China because here he allowed fentanyl to continue to come over. He continued to allow them to take… He would give them technology that would build up their military and hurt us. He allowed the Chinese infiltration for them to buy up farmland, to put money in our universities, and to continue to do things that were harmful for America. We now have a spy base in Cuba and police stations and Trump didn’t do anything about it.

Elizabeth Vargas (41:14):

Thank you.

Ron DeSantis (41:15):

[inaudible 00:41:15] from China though. Listen, this is rich because when she was governor of South Carolina, she was the number one ranked governor of bringing the CCP into her state. She wrote a love letter to the Chinese ambassador saying how great a friend China is. You can look at it. We put it on our website, rondesantis. com. There’s also a video of her as governor standing in front of a Chinese flag with a Chinese business saying that she now works for them, talking about this Chinese company. So, she’s been very weak on China. Now, here’s the problem, the rhetoric is different, but… One, her donors, these Wall Street liberal donors, they make money in China. They are not going to let her be tough on China and she will cave to the donor. She will not stand up for you.

Elizabeth Vargas (41:57):

15 seconds, ambassador.

Nikki Haley (42:02):

First of all, he’s mad because those Wall Street donors used to support him and now they support me. The second thing is he has a Chinese company, [inaudible 00:42:11], that he just did a rally there last year. They have given you 340,000 in campaign donations-

Ron DeSantis (42:18):

It’s an American company.

Nikki Haley (42:18):

… Between them and their employees. They are tied to the Communist-

Ron DeSantis (42:22):

It’s an American company.

Nikki Haley (42:23):

… Chinese Party.

Elizabeth Vargas (42:23):

Thank you.

Nikki Haley (42:24):

JinkoSolar is another one. They went and expanded. You gave 2 million in subsidies and they-

Ron DeSantis (42:28):

I banned China from buying land in the state of Florida.

Nikki Haley (42:30):

And the Department of Homeland-

Ron DeSantis (42:31):

I ejected the Confucius Institute. Nikki Haley brought Confucius Institutes to the universities in South Carolina.

Nikki Haley (42:38):

That is not true.

Ron DeSantis (42:39):

I ejected them, so I have a record of standing up and doing what’s right, and here’s the thing-

Nikki Haley (42:42):

You have a record of lying.

Ron DeSantis (42:43):

She’s trying to say things like that, even the liberal media groups that usually if I say the sky is blue, they’ll fact check me and say that’s wrong. They looked at her charges, they said it was totally false, that they could not find one instance of me recruiting a Chinese business coming to Florida.

Elizabeth Vargas (42:57):

Thank you.

Ron DeSantis (42:58):

You know why? Because we never recruited any Chinese businesses in the state of Florida.

Elizabeth Vargas (43:02):

Thank you. Mr. Ramaswamy, over the past year, fentanyl has killed more than 75,000 Americans, 1,000 of them right here in Alabama. You have vowed to use the military to “annihilate drug labs inside Mexico”, something the president of Mexico said would be a hostile act, but fentanyl can easily be made anywhere and labs that are shut down can easily and quickly be replaced. Are your tough enforcement policies offering false hope to a country racked by addiction?

Vivek Ramaswamy (43:33):

To the contrary, I don’t think it’s going to have to come to that if we deal with the actual demand side problem that we also have in this country. The easy part is talking about how we’re going to use our military to secure the border. I will and I believe that everybody else wants to do the same thing, but the harder part is dealing with the crisis of purpose and meaning, the mental health epidemic raging across this country like wildfire. And there’s a reason why after the opioid crisis you see fentanyl and even after we get fentanyl and we are going to be sure to make sure we do it, this one is worse for many reasons, they’re illegally lacing it into pharmaceuticals, so it’s more dangerous, but we’re deluding ourselves. The real false promise here is thinking that we’re going to have dealt with that underlying mental health epidemic in this country by just dealing with the demand side of it.

But I want to get back to this issue of the root cause because a lot of these are coming from labs in Wuhan, China of all places, drug materials that are going to the Mexican drug cartels that they’re pumping across that southern border like a modern opium war. I think it is going to take a US president that’s going to have a very different conversation with Xi Jinping than what Joe Biden just had in California.

I’ll tell Xi Jinping, “You will not only not buy land in this country or donate to universities in this country, US businesses won’t expand into the Chinese market until they’re playing by the same set of rules.” And the same country that’s putting fentanyl into illegal pharmaceuticals in Mexico, it’s no coincidence is the exact same country that also unleashed hell on the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have to hold them accountable with every financial lever that we have available.

Elizabeth Vargas (45:07):

Thank you.

Vivek Ramaswamy (45:07):

That is what it actually means to stand with a spine, and you mark my words, if we’re willing to stand with a spine, China will absolutely have to fold because they’re in a tougher spot than we are. And then we’re back to playing by the same set of rules, that’s the answer.

Eliana Johnsons (45:18):

Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy. Thank you. Let’s talk about the economy. Ambassador Haley, homeownership has always been part of the American dream, but it’s increasingly out of reach for younger Americans. This year, mortgage rates reached 30-year highs. Home prices have risen $190,000 over the past decade. Is this the free market at work or should the federal government do something to make homes more affordable?

Nikki Haley (45:47):

Well, first of all, you’re exactly right. My daughter just got married and I saw how hard it was for her and her husband to buy a home. Right now, the average homeowner in America is 49 years old. You’ve got young people everywhere, that used to be the American dream and now it’s out of reach, but you look at what happened. You first of all look at what the Fed did. The Fed did a terrible job when they allowed all of that money to go through. You saw the Treasury bond rates go up, that affected mortgage rates, that affected automobile rates, that affected insurance rates, and so now we have a high interest rate. You’ve got a supply issue. Ask any builder, the supply issues have continued to be there. That’s caused the rate to go up, and then you’ve got insurances that have gone up.

And so, what you have is a lot of younger people who one, can’t afford a home, but two, the banks aren’t lending them any money. They’ve made the regulations so hard that they don’t want to give loans on mortgages anymore. So, what we have to do is we have to open it up. We have to one, grow our economy, so that people have more money in their pockets. We’ve got to look at the supply chain and make sure that we are funneling that, so that builders don’t have to sit there and go overseas to find things. And then we need to make sure that we really stop paying down this debt, make sure that we stop the borrowing, stop the spending. I’ll veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre-COVID levels because our kids are not going to forgive us for all the spending that happened. And as much as everybody wants to talk about how Donald Trump had a good economy, $9 trillion in debt he did just in four years, and we’re all paying the price of that, including those mortgage prices.

Eliana Johnsons (47:23):

We’re going to come back to President Trump, I promise. Governor DeSantis, the latest NewsNation decision desk poll found that inflation tops the worries of American voters. 61% say their very concerned and the working class is hardest hit. Economists say this was fueled by a glut of federal spending. The Biden administration has added $6 trillion to the national debt so far, but President Trump wasn’t exactly a penny pincher. His administration added 7.8 trillion. Do Republicans, including President Trump, share the blame for inflation? And what concrete steps would a president DeSantis take to help Americans make ends meet?

Ron DeSantis (48:05):

The borrowing, printing and spending of money was both parties in Washington DC. That’s just a fact. These Republicans in Washington have spent, it’s driven your prices higher, and it’s driven your interest rates to the point where you can’t afford… I met a young fellow in Iowa, he had graduated college a couple years ago and he’s like, “Governor, I don’t have a chance. I’m gainfully employed.” He’s like, “I have no chance to afford a home and start a family,” that is taking the American dream away from people. So, we’re going to get the inflation down, we’re going to get the interest rates down, we are going to reduce spending, and I will be willing to veto and I vetoed a lot as governor of Florida and we’ll do that. We’re also going to open up all of our domestic energy for production, lower your gas prices, lower the price of fuel.

That’s going to help the economy, it’ll also help jobs and we’ll do it, but another thing that’s burdening young people are these student loans. Now, I don’t support having a truck driver having to pay a student loan for someone that got a degree in gender studies. That is wrong, we should not have taxpayers do that. What I’m going to do though is I’m going to get to the root cause of the problem. These student loans are going to be backed by the universities because they need to have an incentive to produce gainful employment for people. They should not be indulging in ideological studies. They should be focusing on things that work, and we’re going to take some of this money and we’re going to move it to actual vocational training. In Florida, we doubled apprenticeships. We have more truck drivers, these are in-demand skills. Don’t let anybody tell you that the only way you can be successful is through a four-year brick-and-ivy degree. That’s one way you can be, it’s not the only way, and we’re going to fix that problem in the United States of America.

Eliana Johnsons (49:41):

Mr. Ramaswamy, you’ve praised cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, as an opt-out from our “broken financial architecture” and you oppose efforts to regulate it. The head of the largest international crypto exchange just pleaded guilty to allowing his platform to launder money for terrorists, including Hamas. You say your cryptocurrency plan will, “Ensure economic freedom for Americans.” Won’t it also ensure economic freedom for fraudsters, criminals, and terrorists?

Vivek Ramaswamy (50:12):

Look, fraudsters, criminals and terrorists have been defrauding people for a long time. Our regulations need to catch up with the current moment. The fact that SBF was able to do what he did at FTX shows that whatever they have as the current framework isn’t working, and I think it is nothing short of embarrassing that Gary Gensler, the current leader of the SEC, in front of Congress could not even say whether Ethereum counted as a regulated security or not. And so, I think that this is just another example of the administrative state gone too far. Here’s the dirty little secret in American politics today, the people who we elect to run the government are not the ones who are even actually [inaudible 00:50:52] that are writing regulations that Congress never gave them the authority to write.

And the good news is a US president can absolutely fix that. That takes a US president with a spine. So, what I’ve said is in my administration, by the end of year one, we will have a 75% reduction in the number of federal bureaucrats. We will shut down government agencies that should not exist. We will rescind any regulation that fails the test of West Virginia v. EPA, which is the most important Supreme Court case of our lifetime that said, “If Congress didn’t delegate that to an administrative agency, then it’s unconstitutional.” These are seismic changes. These are big changes that the next president can deliver without asking Congress for permission or for forgiveness.

And I want people to understand that distinction because people have been sold myths by politicians for a long time saying, “I’m going to work with Congress to do this or that.” Much of what you’ve heard on the stage from the other politicians fit that description, they need Congress. The things that I’m promising you, this is what the leader of the executive branch gets to do under Article II of the Constitution-

Eliana Johnsons (52:00):

Thank you, sir.

Vivek Ramaswamy (52:01):

… Cut down the bureaucracy [inaudible 00:52:03]-

Eliana Johnsons (52:02):

Thank you, sir.

Vivek Ramaswamy (52:03):

… Grow our economy and put the Federal Reserve in its place as part of the crypto discussion-

Eliana Johnsons (52:06):

No, no, no, Mr. Ramaswamy-

Vivek Ramaswamy (52:06):

90% headcount reduction at the Fed.

Eliana Johnsons (52:09):

… You’re out of time. 15 seconds, Governor DeSantis.

Ron DeSantis (52:11):

So, one of the dangers that we’re going to face, Biden wants, is a central bank digital currency. They want to get rid of cash. Crypto, they want to force you to do that. They’ll take away your privacy. They will absolutely regulate your purchases. On day one as president, we take the idea of central bank digital currency and we throw it in the trash can. It’ll be dead on arrival when I’m the president of the United States.

Vivek Ramaswamy (52:32):

I agree with that-

Megyn Kelly (52:34):

We got to go to break. We got to go to break. We have a whole second hour to get to, it’s exciting. And when we come back, we got a big subject, huge you might even say, Donald Trump. Stay tuned.

Speaker 7 (52:55):

RNC Youth Advisory Council.

Speaker 8 (52:56):

We have put together a youth advisory board. We partnered with Young America’s Foundation for the first debate. We’re going to have influencers at these debates. We’re going to give them access to our candidates and we’re going to get our information out there. Real

Speaker 9 (53:08):

Policies with real ideas, with real meat on the bones is what earns young people’s support.

Speaker 10 (53:13):

We have to wake up. We have to start involving my generation and focusing on winning over the youth vote. This is an incredible opportunity to get my generation a seat at the table.

Ronna McDaniel (53:25):

The RNC is laser-focused on beating Joe Biden and far-left Democrats next November.

Elise Stefanik (53:30):

Bank Your Vote is a campaign to encourage, educate, and activate Republican voters on when, where, and how to lock in their votes as early as possible in their state.

Kevin McCarthy (53:40):

We don’t need to wait until the last quarter to put points on the board.

Brian Mast (53:44):

It’s convenient, it’s secure. It makes sure that your voice is heard.

Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (53:48):

Join the team that beats Biden in 2024 by taking the pledge to vote early at

Speaker 3 (53:54):

If you’re not careful where you put your savings, the government can essentially rob you in plain sight. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned us when he said, “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.” He’s right, deficit spending can cause inflation, which eats away at your savings even if you don’t see it at first. Is there a solution? Yes, Greenspan thought so when he said, “Gold stands in the way of this insidious process.” This is where Birch Gold Group comes in. You see, Greenspan understood that true wealth preservation can come from physical assets like gold. We’ve helped Americans diversify their IRA or 401(k) into gold for over 20 years. To get a free info kit from Birch Gold, text NOW to 989898 now. This is our gift to you. There’s no obligation and nothing to buy, just free info to help you. You diversify your hard-earned savings. Text NOW to 989898 right now.

Speaker 4 (54:54):

The wellness company and their doctors are medical professionals you can trust. And their new medical emergency kits are the gold standard when it comes to keeping you safe and healthy. This medical emergency kit contains an assortment of life-saving medications, including Ivermectin, Z-Pak. Rest assured, knowing that you have emergency antibiotics, antivirals, and antiparasitics on hand to help you and your family stay safe from whatever life throws at you next.

Kevin Sorbo (55:26):

Do you owe over $10,000 in back taxes? Kevin Sorbo here with an important message. The Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion plan to boost IRS collections. This means they could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and even seize your property. Tax Network USA, a trusted tax firm can help protect your income and assets today while quickly settling your tax debt, but you have to act now while you still have options. Call Tax Network USA today.

Speaker 4 (56:25):

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Megyn Kelly (57:18):

Welcome back, everyone. So, you’ve all spent a lot of time criticizing each other on this stage, as Governor Christie pointed out, and less so for most of you on the front-runner in this race, Donald Trump. We invited him to come tonight, as you know, but he declined to come, but we’d like to ask you a couple questions about him now. Ambassador Haley, former President Trump recently promised if he’s reelected to bring back and expand his program restricting immigration from Muslim countries. Here he is in Iowa on October 16th.

Donald Trump (57:50):

No longer will we allow dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots, and maniacs to get residency in our country. We’re not going to let them stay here. If you empathize with radical Islamic, terrorists and extremists, you’re disqualified. You’re just disqualified.

Megyn Kelly (58:06):

Ambassador Haley, do you support President Trump’s plan for ideological screening?

Nikki Haley (58:11):

Well, I don’t think that you have a straight-up Muslim ban, as much as you look at the countries that have terrorist activity that want to hurt Americans. You can ban those people from those countries, that’s the way we should look at it is which countries are a threat to us. You look at what came across the southern border, what worries me the most are those that came from Iran, from Yemen, from Lebanon, those areas where they say death to America. That’s where you want to be careful.

It’s not about a religion, it’s about a fact that certain countries are dangerous and are threats to us. A president has one job, and that’s to keep Americans safe. And that’s what we’ve got to do is make sure that we have good national security in that process, and that’s the way you should look at it, is where the terrorist threats are, how we’re going to deal with it and what we’re doing about it. And the biggest threat we have right now is communist China, but you have to also look at what Iran and Russia are doing as well, and we need to be paying attention to that. That’s why we have to focus on things like cyber, on space, on artificial intelligence, and not just the regular things that we’ve always focused on.

Ron DeSantis (59:11):

It’s not just terrorism though, that’s important, but look what’s happened in Europe. You have more anti-Semitism in Germany than at any time since Adolf Hitler. Why? Because they imported mass numbers of people who reject their culture. Europe is committing suicide with the mass migration and it’s illegal and legal. Nikki Haley said the other day there should be no limits on legal immigration and that corporate CEOs should set the policy on that.

Nikki Haley (59:40):

That’s not true. You’re lying.

Ron DeSantis (59:41):

There needs to be limits on immigration and we should not be importing people from cultures that are hostile. So for example, I said with Gaza, you had some of the squad wanted to import 300,000 people from the Gaza Strip. I said, “No, we’re not taking anyone from Gaza because of the anti-Semitism and because they reject

Ron DeSantis (01:00:00):

… affect American culture, so we’ve got to get smart about this. We cannot let the United States be like Europe.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:00:06):

Governor Christie. Governor Christie. Governor Christie.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:00:07):

If I may just hit this point because it relates to what they just said. There are things that the government can do right now that nobody’s talking about amongst the professional politicians in this race. What about all of the illegals who are already here? Here’s the answer. There’s 287G in the law. That is a provision that already allows ICE agents to deputize or allow local law enforcement to enforce those ICE [inaudible 01:00:34]. It shocks me that nobody in the Republican Party’s talking about it because there are one million then officials, law enforcement officials in this country, and against that backdrop, we absolutely have the ability to deport anybody who’s in this country illegally. We need to be talking about it more in this country.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:00:47):

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy. Thank you. Governor Christie.

Nikki Haley (01:00:50):

I actually did that as governor of South Carolina.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:00:53):

Governor Christie, asked last night in Iowa whether he would be a dictator if he wins a second term in office, Donald Trump quipped, no, “Except for day one”, promising to seal the southern border. He has also pledged to begin the largest deportation operation in American history saying that migrants are “Poisoning the blood of our country.” He has pledged to round up and expel an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. What do you make of that plan?

Chris Christie (01:01:24):

I think it’s completely predictable. I mean, look, he’s made it very clear. There’s no mystery to what he wants to do. He started off his campaign by saying, “I am your retribution.” Eight years ago he said, “I’m your voice.” This is an angry, bitter man who now wants to be back as president because he wants to exact retribution on anyone who has disagreed with him, anyone who has tried to hold him to account for his own conduct, and every one of these policies that he’s talking about are about pursuing a plan of retribution. Yet at the first debate, my three colleagues on this stage, when asked if he would be convicted of federal felonies, would they still support him, raised their hand, looked into the camera and let everybody know that they would still support him, even if convicted of felonies. Federal felonies, by the way.

Federal felonies which involve our election process, federal felonies which involve the most sensitive of our governmental secrets, federal felonies where he instructed others to commit crimes, folks who are now agreeing to go to jail because of what they did in his name. Do I think he was kidding when he said he was a dictator? All you have to do is look at the history and that’s why failing to speak out against him, making excuses for him, pretending that somehow he’s a victim empowers him. You want to know why those poll numbers are where they are? Because folks like these three guys on the stage make it seem like his conduct is acceptable. Let me make it clear. His conduct is unacceptable. He’s unfit and be careful of what you’re going to get if you ever got another Donald Trump term. He’s letting you know “I am your retribution. Elizabeth, he will only be his own retribution. He doesn’t care for the American people. It’s Donald Trump first.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:03:20):

Thank you, Governor Christie. Governor DeSantis. Governor DeSantis. Thank you. Thank you. Governor DeSantis. Donald Trump would be older on day one of his second presidency than Joe Biden was on day one of his first. You have said Trump is not the same man he was when he ran in 2016. Your campaign is running ads showing Trump confused and you have said he has “Lost the zip on his fastball.” You seem to be saying Donald Trump is no longer mentally fit to be president. Is that what you think?

Ron DeSantis (01:03:53):

Look, he is … Father Time is undefeated. The idea that we’re going to put someone up there that’s almost 80 and there’s going to be no effects from that, we all know that that’s not true, and so we have an opportunity to do a next generation of leaders and really be able to move this country forward. We also need a president that can serve two terms. I don’t think Donald Trump … I don’t think he’d be able to get elected. The Democrats want him to be the nominee. We see that. They’re going to turn the screws the minute … if he got the nomination-

Elizabeth Vargas (01:04:19):

But do you think he’s mentally fit to be president?

Ron DeSantis (01:04:20):

I think we need to have somebody younger. I think when you get up to 80, I don’t think it’s a job for that, but let me just respond to some of the things there. Look, the media’s making a big deal about what he said about some of these comments. I would just remind people that is not how he governed. He didn’t even fire Dr. Fauci. He didn’t fire Christopher Ray. He didn’t clean up the swamp. He said he was going to drain it. He did not drain it. He said he was going to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it. We don’t have the wall. He did say in 2016 he’d have the largest deportation program in history. He deported less than Barack Obama did when Barack Obama was president.

Some of these policies he ran on in ’16, I was cheering him on then, but he didn’t deliver it. Here’s what I can promise people. A hundred percent of the things I promised as governor, I delivered on those promises. I beat the Left time and time again and that’s what I’ll do for you as president. We got to start winning again as a party. Yes, win the election, but we’ve got to start getting these issues. I will go in and wreak havoc on this bureaucracy. You will see people fired and we are going to bring a reckoning for how this government handled COVID-19 and the lockdown.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:05:23):

Listen, here’s what’s irritates the heck out of me. Now, Chris, you had your chance to wax eloquent on Donald Trump. You were doing it all this whole race.

Chris Christie (01:05:32):

Why doesn’t he just answer the question? The question was very direct. Is he fit to be president or isn’t he? The rest of the speech is interesting but completely nonresponsive and if we were in a courtroom, they’d strike the answer and say, “Governor DeSantis, you’re a smart man-”

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:05:48):

No, they wouldn’t. They would argue that-

Chris Christie (01:05:51):

No, they would.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:05:51):

No, they wouldn’t, Chris.

Chris Christie (01:05:52):

They would strike the answer because you’re not answering it. Is he fit-

Ron DeSantis (01:05:54):

You have your thing. You have your thing.

Chris Christie (01:05:58):

No, I don’t have my thing. He’s the thing. Is he fit or isn’t he?

Ron DeSantis (01:06:00):

We not want to do someone that’s almost 80.

Chris Christie (01:06:02):

You’re talking about him being 80 years old, Ron. Is he fit, Ron?

Ron DeSantis (01:06:04):

It doesn’t mean that somebody couldn’t be elected. That’s up to the people to decide.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:06:07):

Governor DeSantis. Governor DeSantis, let him finish.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:13):

I think we have an opportunity to choose somebody who is in the prime of their life.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:06:15):

Guys, no talking over each other.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:18):

We don’t have to worry about all this stuff with [inaudible 01:06:20] and we’ll do it.

Megyn Kelly (01:06:20):

Governor, please stop, I’m going to come to you. Finish.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:23):

Look, Father Time is undefeated. I don’t know how he would score on a test, but I know this. We have an opportunity to nominate someone and elect someone for two terms who’s going to be spitting nails on day one and for eight years deliver you big results.

Megyn Kelly (01:06:39):

So you do think he’s fit. You do think.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:39):

We should not nominate somebody-

Chris Christie (01:06:41):

He won’t answer

Ron DeSantis (01:06:42):

Who’s almost 80 years old.

Chris Christie (01:06:43):

He’s afraid to answer.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:45):

No, I’m not.

Chris Christie (01:06:47):

No, you have to … either you are afraid or you’re not listening.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:50):

No, it’s not.

Chris Christie (01:06:50):

There’s a simple question.

Ron DeSantis (01:06:50):

You don’t want to hear the answer. [inaudible 01:06:52].

Megyn Kelly (01:06:51):

Nobody can hear this. No one can hear you, they can’t hear you. You finish and then you get it back.

Chris Christie (01:07:00):

Look, I’m a simple guy. I hear the question and I answer it. Is he fit or isn’t he? I’ll concede. You are fit, Ron. You are a new generation. You’re 44 years old. I wish I was still 44 years old.

Ron DeSantis (01:07:16):

I’m 45.

Chris Christie (01:07:18):

Well, congratulations. I’d still take 45. Is he fit or isn’t he? This is the problem with my three colleagues. They’re afraid to offend. Let me tell you something. If you’re afraid-

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:07:31):

See, I want to say-

Elizabeth Vargas (01:07:31):

Hold on, Mr. Ramaswamy.

Chris Christie (01:07:32):

If you’re afraid to offend Donald Trump, then what are you going to do when you sit across from President Xi, you sit across from the Ayatollah, you sit across from Putin? You have to be willing to offend with the truth and answer the question. [inaudible 01:07:49]

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:07:48):

It’s not about offending.

Megyn Kelly (01:07:51):

I promised Ron DeSantis a minute and not a full minute. You’ve been waiting and then we’re moving on.

Ron DeSantis (01:07:56):

It’s not about offending. It’s about pointing out do you want to elect somebody who will be older than Biden was when he went in 2021? I don’t think he’s as bad as Biden was at all, but I do think that over a four-year period, it is not a job for somebody that’s pushing 80. We need somebody that’s younger. We need somebody that’s going to be able to go in there and clean house on day one and do it for two terms.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:08:19):

Here’s my issue with all three of my other colleagues on this debate stage is all three of them have been licking Donald Trump’s boots for years for money and endorsements. Ron DeSantis, you’ve been a great governor, but you would’ve never been one without actually begging Donald Trump for that endorsement.

Ron DeSantis (01:08:35):

You attacked him in your book a year ago.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:08:36):

Same thing with Chris Christie as a lobbyist begging them for COVID money for his special interests in New Jersey, prepping him for the debates last time around. These people are now Monday morning quarterbacking some decision he made. I think the real enemy is not Donald Trump, it’s not even Joe Biden. It is the deep state that at least Donald Trump attempted to take on. If you want somebody who’s going to speak truth to power, then vote for somebody who’s going to speak the truth to you.

Why am I the only person on the stage at least who can say that January 6th now does look like it was an inside job, that the government lied to us for 20 years about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11, that the great replacement theory is not some grand right-wing conspiracy theory, but a basic statement of the Democratic Party’s platform, that the 2020 election was indeed stolen by big tech, that the 2016 election, the one that Trump won for sure, was also one that was stolen from him by the National Security Establishment that actually put out the Trump Russia collusion hoax that they knew was false?

There’s a reason why I’m the only person on this stage who can say these things. That’s what it’s going to take, not people who were licking his boots one time and now Monday morning quarterbacking and criticizing when it’s convenient.

Megyn Kelly (01:09:49):

Governor Christie, you do not favor a ban on trans medical treatments for minors, saying it’s a parental rights issue. The surgeries done on minors involve cutting off body parts at a time when these kids cannot even legally smoke a cigarette. Kids who go from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones are at a much greater likelihood of winding up sterile. How is it that you think a parent should be able to okay these surgeries, nevermind the sterilization of a child and aren’t you way too out of step on this issue to be the Republican nominee?

Chris Christie (01:10:25):

No, I’m not because Republicans believe in less government, not more, in less involvement with government, not more in government involvement in people’s lives. You know what, Megan? I trust parents and we are out there saying that we should empower parents in education, we should empower parents to make more decisions about where their kids go to school. I agree. We should empower parents to be teaching the values that they believe in in their homes without the government telling them what those values should be. Yet we want to take other parental rights away. I’m sorry. As a father of four, I believe there is no one who loves my children more than me. There’s no one who loves my children more than my wife. There’s no one who cares more about their success and health in life than we do.

Not some government bureaucrat, not some … You look at these jokers down in Congress, it takes them three weeks to pick a speaker and up until two days ago, they couldn’t promote somebody in the military in the United States Senate who earned their new rank, and we’re going to put my children’s health and my decisions in their hands for them to make those decisions, for Joe Biden to make those decisions for me and for my wife? Let me just say this. This is not something I favor. I think it’s a very, very dangerous thing to do, but that’s my opinion as a parent, Megan, and I get to make the decisions about my children, not anybody else. Every parent out there who’s watching tonight, you start to turn over just a little bit of this authority, the authority they’re going to take from you next, you’re not going to like. I’ll stand up for parents each and every time.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:12:05):

There are laws banning smoking and drinking by a [inaudible 01:12:10]

Ron DeSantis (01:12:08):

You do not have [inaudible 01:12:11].

Megyn Kelly (01:12:12):

Hold on, hold on. Let me tell you something. I have a follow-up question for him and you guys are going to get to weigh in. Okay? Here’s my follow-up question. You talk about parental rights, let’s talk about them. When you were governor in 2017, you signed a law that required new guidelines for schools dealing with transgender students. Those guidelines required schools to accept a child’s preferred gender identity even if the minor’s parents objected.

Chris Christie (01:12:33):

Not true.

Megyn Kelly (01:12:33):

It said that there is no duty for schools to notify parents if their son or daughter changes their gender identity, allowing this serious issue to remain a secret between the school and a child. How is any of that pro-parental rights?

Chris Christie (01:12:47):

By the way, that’s simply not true.

Ron DeSantis (01:12:48):

You’re doing what you accused me of, Chris.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:12:49):

It is absolutely true.

Chris Christie (01:12:50):

That’s simply not true. That’s simply not true. That law was put into effect in 2018 and regulated in 2018 after I was out of office, Megan.

Megyn Kelly (01:12:59):

You mandated the guidelines.

Chris Christie (01:13:00):

No. No, we did not, Megan. We did not issue those guidelines and you’re wrong about that. Simply wrong. I have stood up each and every time.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:13:08):

I think if this is one issue that’s disqualifying, it’s this one.

Chris Christie (01:13:12):

I stood up every single time for parents to be able to make the decisions for their minor children. Every single time parents should make those decisions. By the way, you know what? Every once in a while parents are going to make decisions that we disagree with, but the minute you start to take those rights away from parents, you don’t know that’s slippery slope, what rights are going to be taken away next and what’s going to be imposed on you.

Ron DeSantis (01:13:38):

As a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids. This is cutting off their genitals. This is mutilating. These minors, these are irreversible procedures and this is something that other countries in Europe like Sweden, once they started doing it, they saw it did incalculable damage. They’ve shut it down. I signed legislation in Florida banning the mutilation of minors because it is wrong. We cannot allow this to happen in this country. I know Chris disagrees with me and I think he has an honest position. Nikki disagrees with me. She opposes the bill that we did to ban that. She said the law shouldn’t get involved with it.

Nikki Haley (01:14:13):

I did not.

Ron DeSantis (01:14:13):

You said the law shouldn’t get involved with it. She also, though, I think, and this flows from what she did as governor of South Carolina, they had a bill to try to say that men shouldn’t go into girls’ bathrooms and she killed that bill and she bragged that she killed that bill. Even to this day she bragged that. I don’t think men should be going into little girls’ bathrooms. I think it’s wrong and I think we have every right to protect them from that.

Megyn Kelly (01:14:36):

I am going to come to you. I promise him seconds. Go quickly.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:14:40):

I think the north star here is transgenderism is a mental health disorder. We don’t let you smoke a cigarette by the age of 18. We don’t let you have an addictive drink of alcohol by the age of 21. I just challenged Ron DeSantis to go one step further and support what I think is clearly within the authority to do using federal funds just like Reagan did in ’84 for the Highway Act that said the minimum drinking age needs to be 21. We can do the same thing when it comes to banning genital mutilation or chemical castration. I know Ron’s been unclear about on the federal level. I’m crystal clear. That’s where I stand. That’s a mental health disorder. That’s where we need to be at.

Megyn Kelly (01:15:16):

Got it. That’s it. Go ahead.

Nikki Haley (01:15:20):

First of all, Ron has continued to lie because he’s losing.

Ron DeSantis (01:15:23):

No, it’s not a lie.

Nikki Haley (01:15:24):

You are lying.

Ron DeSantis (01:15:25):

You said it on tape.

Nikki Haley (01:15:27):

First of all, I will say that when I was governor, 10 years ago when the bathroom situation came up, we had maybe a handful of kids that were dealing with an issue and I said we don’t need to bring government into this, but boys go into boys’ bathrooms, girls go into girls’ bathrooms and if anyone else has an issue, they use a private bathroom. Now 10 years later we see that this issue has exploded and this shows how hypocritical Ron continues to be. When he was running for governor and they asked him about that, he said he didn’t think bathroom bills were a good use of his time. You can go look that up.

Ron DeSantis (01:16:07):

I signed a bathroom bill in Florida, so that’s obviously not true.

Nikki Haley (01:16:15):

The idea that you would say that I was against it-

Ron DeSantis (01:16:18):

I signed it, you didn’t. You killed it. I signed it. I stood up for little girls. You didn’t do it and there was this going on. I was actually just in South Carolina. Some of the legislators told me at the time there were boys going into the girls. That’s the whole reason why they did it.

Nikki Haley (01:16:31):

No, no, no, no, no.

Ron DeSantis (01:16:31):

So they say when she does that explanation, that that doesn’t hold water and this is the upstate of South Carolina.

Nikki Haley (01:16:35):


Ron DeSantis (01:16:36):

I signed the bill, I protected the girls.

Nikki Haley (01:16:37):

Do you know South Carolinians?

Ron DeSantis (01:16:37):

She did not do it. I know that.

Nikki Haley (01:16:38):

Do you know South Carolinians? Because South Carolinians … No, no, no. You are not going to talk about my state like that because I will tell you for a fact, South Carolinians never allowed that to happen and we did not have that issue at the time. What I have always said is boys go into a boys’ bathroom, girls go into a girls bathroom. But hold on one second. I also say that biological boys shouldn’t be playing in girls’ sports and I will do everything I can to stop that because it’s the women’s issue of our time.

Ron DeSantis (01:17:08):

I signed legislation to protect women’s sports. I actually get this stuff done.

Eliana Johnsons (01:17:11):

We’re going to move on from this.

Megyn Kelly (01:17:11):

You got it.

Eliana Johnsons (01:17:14):

Thank you, guys. We’re going to move on. Mr. Ramaswamy, when discussing your Hindu faith in September you seemed to take a shot at Ambassador Haley who is also Indian American and who converted to Christianity as an adult. You said “An easy thing for me to do being a politician is to shorten my name, profess to be a Christian and then run. Make Vivek Vicky or whatever.” Are you questioning Nikki Haley’s Christian convictions, and why is your campaign made a point of referring to Ambassador Haley by her given first name Nimarata, even though she’s gone by Nikki for her whole life?

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:17:49):

Well, my whole deal is if Nikki Haley of all people should know how to pronounce my name correctly, the rest of the news media can learn it. My deal is I’ll call her Nikki when she can say my own name right and that’s our little fun side bet there. Here’s what I will say is deeper. I don’t question her faith, but I question her authenticity and I think that’s deeper here. We were just talking about the trans issue. This is a symptom of a deeper cancer in American life, identity politics, this new religion that says your race, your gender, and your sexuality are your identity. It is anti-American, it is meritocratic, it’s anti-meritocratic and it is dividing this country to a breaking point. I’ve spoken about this to the Left. My books are all about this. I’ve preached this to the Left, but it’s even worse when republicans try to play the same game.

We’re talking about that trans issue and Nikki Haley’s campaign launch video sounded like a woke Dylan Mulvaney Bud Light ad talking about how she would kick in heels. At the first debate, she said that only a woman can get this job done. That’s what she said. After the third debate, when I criticized Ronna McDaniel after five failed years of leadership of this party and criticized Nikki for her corrupt foreign dealings as a military contractor, she said that I have a woman problem. Nikki, I don’t have a woman problem. You have a corruption problem and I think that that’s what people need to know. Nikki is corrupt. This is a woman who will send your kids to die so she can buy a bigger house. This is the problem, using identity politics more effectively than Kamala Harris is a form of intellectual fraud and it actually needs to … and there’s her donor puppet masters wielding their puppet right up here tonight.

This is how this game is played. The puppet masters put up their puppet and I reject the use of identity politics in this party. It has been a cancer coming from the Left and I’m sick and tired of the double standards, the people of this country are too, having two X chromosomes does not immunize you from criticism.

Eliana Johnsons (01:19:38):

Thank you, sir. Thank you. Governor Haley, would you like to respond?

Nikki Haley (01:19:42):

No, it’s not worth my time to respond to him.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:19:45):

You have been using identity politics at every step. She knows it’s true and that’s why she’s [inaudible 01:19:52].

Nikki Haley (01:19:51):

Sir, we’re not going to give you a response to the question that was to you.

Megyn Kelly (01:19:54):

Okay, we got to move on to this. Now by arrangement with the Republican National Committee, we’ve got two questions for you about the Justice Department and our election system. Here’s Tom Fitton with Judicial Watch. Governor Christie, this one’s for you.

Tom Fitton (01:20:12):

President Trump and many of his supporters claim federal law enforcement agencies have abused his civil rights for the last eight years by, among other things, spying on him and now prosecuting him while having treated Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden with kid gloves. A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans think more highly of the U.S. Postal Service than they do the FBI or Justice Department. What would you do as president to restore the faith of the American people in these agencies?

Chris Christie (01:20:44):

Well, first off, I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually done a job in the Department of Justice. I was the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey in the fifth-largest office in this country appointed by President Bush on September 10th, 2001. It was an extraordinary time in this country to be on the front lines of fighting the greatest attack against our country since Pearl Harbor. I’m proud of the seven years I spent in the Justice Department and one of the reasons I am is because I had an attorney general when I came in named John Ashcroft and John Ashcroft stood up and told each and every one of us our job was to do one thing, to make sure justice was done every day regardless of partisanship, regardless of gender or race or any other consideration. That’s what we did for seven years and at a time when our country was at its greatest moment of danger in the last 40 years, we did exactly that and there was not another domestic terrorist attack on this soil.

What I would do as president having had that experience and the only one who’s had that experience is to pick an attorney general who will absolutely do the same thing that John Ashcroft did, to pick U.S. attorneys who will only care about making sure that justice is done without regard to any other consideration but the facts that are presented and whether someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the government can prove it. We have had attorneys general like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and Jeff Sessions and now our current attorney general who have not met that standard. And the only way you restore people’s faith in the justice system is to put someone like that in charge of the Justice Department and then as president to get at the hell out of the way on anything that involves criminal investigations. If a president’s involved in trying to do something and put their thumb on the scales, Donald Trump says he will do, that makes people much less likely to believe our justice system can be fair.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:22:48):

Thank you.

Megyn Kelly (01:22:49):

Thank you. Governor DeSantis, this next one is for you. Back to Tom Fitton.

Tom Fitton (01:22:52):

Many Republicans are concerned about the legitimacy of elections. A federal judge just ruled that Pennsylvania must count on dated mail-in ballots and unlike Alabama, many states still don’t require any identification to vote. What should states do now to increase election integrity and voter confidence for the 2024 election?

Ron DeSantis (01:23:14):

Well, Tom, thanks for the question. Thanks for what you guys do at Judicial Watch. It’s really, really important. There’s a lot of corruption in this government. You guys are doing a great job. What you should do for election integrity is do what we did in Florida. 20 years ago, Florida and elections was a joke. Everybody would laugh at it. I came in, I removed a couple supervisors from South Florida. We require voter ID universal, no Zuckerbucks, no mass mail balloting and no ballot harvesting. We even have an agency that prosecutes people for violating election laws. The result of that in both 2020 and 2022, we counted millions and millions of votes on election night, produced the results, it was transparent and everybody was happy. That is not happening throughout this country.

But let me tell you this, as the nominee, I think it’s important. Not every state’s where we need it to be there is ballot harvesting in places like Nevada, all these places. I am not going to fight with one hand tied behind my back. I’m going to have organizations in all the swing states. If they’re harvesting, we are harvesting. If they’re Zuckerbucks, we’re Zuckerbucks. We are going to exploit whatever the rules are. I favor changing the rules to be like Florida and some of the other states that have done a good job, but until then we have to do that.

Then just on the Justice Department and FBI, I mean, I remember being in Iraq working with FBI on the ground and then I was a special assistant. I used to have such a high regard for these agencies. What they did to Donald Trump with the Russia collusion was one of the biggest abuses of power in the history of our country. These agencies need to be cleaned out. With me, you’ll have a new FBI director on day one. We’re going to clear out the DOJ, the IRS, all these places. Buckle your seatbelts, there’s going to be a new sheriff in town.

Megyn Kelly (01:24:55):

Thank you. All right, we got to do a quick break. We’re going to come back in one minute. China up next.

Speaker 2 (01:25:12):

Santa’s coming soon. Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Get 15% off your entire purchase at the official GOP store when you text Santa to 80810. But hurry, order by December 8th to get your presence under the tree in time. Who do you think will win the debate? Text your answer to 80810.

Speaker 3 (01:25:45):

If you’re not careful where you put your savings, the government can essentially rob you in plain sight. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned us when he said “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.” He’s right. Deficit spending can cause inflation, which eats away at your savings even if you don’t see it at first. Is there a solution? Yes. Greenspan thought so when he said “Gold stands in the way of this insidious process.” This is where Birch Gold Group comes in. You see, Greenspan understood that true wealth preservation can come from physical assets like gold. We’ve helped Americans diversify their IRA or 401(k) into gold for over 20 years. To get a free info kit from Birch Gold, text Now to 989898 now. This is our gift to you. There’s no obligation and nothing to buy. Just free info to help you diversify your hard-earned savings. Text Now to 989898 right now.

Speaker 4 (01:26:45):

The Wellness company and their doctors are medical professionals you can trust and their new medical emergency kits are the gold standard when it comes to keeping you safe and healthy. This medical emergency kit contains an assortment of life-saving medications, including Ivermectin, Z-Pak. Rest assured, knowing that you have emergency antibiotics, antivirals, and anti-parasitics on hand to help you and your family stay safe from whatever life throws at you next.

Kevin Sorbo (01:27:16):

Do you owe over $10,000 in back taxes? Kevin Sorbo here with an important message. The Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion plan to boost IRS collections. This means they could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and even seize your property. Tax Network USA, a trusted tax firm, can help protect your income and assets today while quickly settling your tax debt. But you have to act now while you still have options. Call Tax Network USA today.

Speaker 5 (01:27:45):

I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.

Speaker 6 (01:28:15):

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Kevin Sorbo (01:28:44):

Do you owe over $10,000 in back taxes? Kevin Sorbo here with an important message. The Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion plan to boost IRS collections. This means they could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and even seize your property. Tax Network USA, a trusted tax firm can help protect your income and assets today while quickly settling your tax debt. But you have to act now while you still have options. Call Tax Network USA today.

Eliana Johnsons (01:29:30):

Welcome back to the final GOP Presidential Primary Debate of 2023. We’re going to talk about our college campuses, starting with you, Ambassador Haley. House Republicans yesterday hauled Elite University presidents up to Capitol Hill to answer for the displays of antisemitism on college campuses. These leaders, including the president of Harvard, were asked

Eliana Johnsons (01:30:00):

… asked whether calling for the genocide of the Jews would violate school policies against harassment and intimidation. All of them said it would depend on the context, including whether that speech veers into conduct. How do you think these schools and the rest of society should balance the imperative of free speech against the need to prevent radical activists from harassing and intimidating others?

Nikki Haley (01:30:24):

It was disgusting to see what happened. If this had been the KKK that was doing protests on those campuses, every one of those college presidents would’ve been up in arms. This is just as bad. The idea that they would go and allow that kind of pro-Hamas protest or agree with the genocide of Jews and try and say that they needed context on that, there is no context to that.

This is what we need to do to deal with it. First of all, we have got to get foreign money out of our universities. You’ve got Arab money, you’ve got Chinese money, you’ve got others. We need to go to every university and say, “You either take foreign money or you take American money, but the days of taking both are over.”

The second thing we need to do is we need… Biden made a mistake not including anti-Zionism in the definition of anti-Semitism. If you don’t think that Israel has a right to exist, that is anti-Semitic. We will change the definition so that every government, every school has to acknowledge the definition for what it is.

The third thing is we really do need to ban TikTok once and for all, and let me tell you why. For every 30 minutes that someone watches TikTok, every day, they become 17% more anti-Semitic, more pro-Hamas based on doing that. We now know that 50% of adults, 18 to 25, think that Hamas was warranted in what they did with Israel. That’s a problem. When campuses also don’t go and protect, when they have these rallies, and you’ve got students that are scared, we need to go to these universities and say, “If you’re not going to protect these students, if you’re not going to acknowledge anti-Semitism, we’ll take your tax-exempt status away.” That’ll fix it and that’ll take care of it for them.

Eliana Johnsons (01:32:09):

Staying with you, ambassador Haley, on October 6th, the Israeli government thought it had a clear-eyed view of the threat from Hamas. In fact, according to the New York Times, it even had Hamas’ attack plan and dismissed it as an aspiration. The Israelis were wrong. In our country, the FBI director told the Senate panel just yesterday that he sees, “Blinking red lights everywhere,” and that the threat level has, “Gone to a whole nother level since October 7th.” Which of the threats facing our country do you worry could blindside us?

Nikki Haley (01:32:44):

What worries me and what keeps me up at night is what happens between now and election day while Joe Biden’s in office. That’s what worries me more than anything else, but I’ll tell you that America right now is acting like it’s September 10th. We better remember what September 12th felt like because it only takes one. And whether you’re looking at open borders that are allowing people to come in, Iran knows the easiest way to get to America is through the southern border, and we’re not doing anything to stop it.

We’ve got to get the foreign infiltration out of our country, whether it’s in our schools, whether it’s on our social media, whether it’s we need to stop all foreign lobbying that’s happening to members of Congress, and we need to start America again. Until we do that, we are going to be at threats. We’ve got to look at, Iran, China and Russia want to destroy the West. We have to start acting strong again. We’ve got to start protecting Americans. Right now, Americans don’t feel protected, and we’re not doing anything to strengthen it. So, Joe Biden continues to be a problem, that’ll change on election day.

Megyn Kelly (01:33:46):

Governor DeSantis, if China invades Taiwan, would you send American troops, as President Biden’s has said he would do?

Ron DeSantis (01:33:55):

We will be able to deter that from happening. I think that’s the important thing, we need a strategy of denial so that we’re deterring Xi’s ambitions.

Megyn Kelly (01:34:03):

What if it doesn’t work?

Ron DeSantis (01:34:04):

It’s going to work. Taiwan’s an ally. We have longstanding American policy, and you know how that’s done, and we will follow that.

But here’s the thing, Taiwan is important, not just because of semiconductors. It’s important because if China’s able to break out of this first island chain, they’re going to be able to dominate commerce in the entire Indo-Pacific. They will use that to export authoritarianism all around the world, including here in the United States.

You look at some of these guys, actually, some of them that are supporting Nikki on Wall Street, they grovel to China. Anytime something happens, they got to go do that. So, they already exert a huge amount of authority over this country. It will get a lot worse. So, deterring China’s ambitions is the number one national security task that I will do as president and we will succeed. The 21st century needs to be an American century. We cannot let it be a Chinese century.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:34:56):

Mr. Ramaswamy, I’m coming to you next.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:34:58):

I’ll be clear on the same issue, if I may.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:35:00):

Okay, I’m coming to you next on Taiwan. You said, if you want to stop Xi from invading Taiwan, “Let’s open a branch of the NRA in Taiwan and put an AR-15 in the hands of every family and train them how to use it. That will-”

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:35:12):

I stand by it.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:35:13):

“… give Xi a taste of American exceptionalism.” The national police in Taiwan announced a zero gun policy last year. Is this a serious policy proposal? And if it isn’t, why do you keep repeating it?

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:35:28):

Well, it’s part of a broader deterrence strategy, and so, I think I’m going to respectfully disagree with Ron here. I think the next U.S. president needs to be crystal clear that at least for the foreseeable future, the U.S. will absolutely defend Taiwan, and it is with that clarity that we actually achieve deterrence.

But I have a broader strategy than that. We need to get onside in our relationship with India, take it to the next level. India has to be able to block the Andaman Sea, which is where China gets most of its Middle Eastern oil supplies. That’s critical.

I also do believe the Second Amendment is a critical way of preventing foreign autocrats from being able to, “It’s worked in America, why wouldn’t it work in Taiwan?” So, it is part of a broader strategy, but I do think that we need to be specific about our deterrence strategy or else Xi Jinping is just encroaching by the day.

And the reason why we’re not doing it for China, I want to be crystal clear, is because we’re scared. Why are we scared? Because we depend on them for our modern way of life. Why do we depend on them for our modern way of life? It’s because Nikki Haley’s latest friends like Larry Fink have created co-mingled economies with BlackRock, Tellan, Exxon and Chevron. They can’t drill here while being a shareholder of PetroChina, not applying those same constraints in China. So, it is our economic dependence on China that makes us scared. If that were a Russian spy balloon, we’d have shot it down in an instant. If that were a Russian spy base in Cuba, we’d be actually going hard on them instead of turning the other way as we are with China. So, it comes back down to that economic dependence. We cannot depend on them for our pharmaceuticals, our semiconductors, and people have been lied to for a long time. Our own military, the F-35 jets that we make in this country-

Elizabeth Vargas (01:37:01):

Thank you.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:37:02):

… depend on China and it’s going to take an outsider to fix that broken establishment.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:37:05):

Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy. Ambassador Haley, would you like to respond?

Nikki Haley (01:37:10):

I mean, when it comes to China and Taiwan, the one way that we keep China from going into Taiwan is, one, make sure that we win in Ukraine, that we protect our friends, but also let China know that there’ll be hell to pay if they go into Taiwan. They need to know that there is going to be a force that’s going to go against them and they need to know it’s not just going to be the United States. That is why we need to build our partnerships with India, with South Korea, with Japan, with the Philippines, with Australia. We need to start pulling that alliance together. And the first way we do that is we need to make sure that on day one we look at the fact, whatever…

If China pulled the rug out from under us tomorrow, would we be ready? Think about what happened during.

COVID. Everybody told you to wear a mask, they were made in China. Everybody told you to take a COVID test, they were made in China. I mean, everything that happened, if you go to the drugstore, all those medicines are made in China. We have to make sure that we are not relying on China for anything related to our national security, which means let’s start focusing on doing deals with our friends now.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:38:14):

Thank you, Ambassador. Governor Christie, I’d like you to weigh in on that. And do you think arming every family in Taiwan with an AR-15 is a plausible policy.

Chris Christie (01:38:23):

I don’t think we have constitutional authority over Taiwan, to give them a Second Amendment. I think they can only do that for themselves.

But look, I want to be really clear. Once again, I want to play the role of actually answering your question, which is if China went after Taiwan, you’re absolutely right, I would, as president, have us go militarily and defend them.

Secondly, I’m not afraid based upon those economic relationships to do that because these economic relationships mean nothing. Nothing. If what’s going to happen is that China is going to come and act in that region of the world however they see fit. It’s not right.

And I’ll say this about what I heard from Nikki earlier. She said that Donald Trump was good on trade. He wasn’t. And the proof that he wasn’t good on trade with China is that all he did was impose tariffs, which raised the prices for every American. You want to know what has contributed to inflation in this country? Yes, it’s more government spending. Yes, it’s the fact that we’re printing too much money. Absolutely. But it is also the increase in prices that were driven by Donald Trump’s tariffs.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:39:33):

Thank you.

Chris Christie (01:39:33):

And one last thing, you can’t say he was good on trade because he didn’t trade. He didn’t change one Chinese policy in the process. He failed on it.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:39:43):

Thank you, Governor Christie. Governor DeSantis, switching subjects here. For 15 years, Republicans have been burned by politicians’ promises to repeal Obamacare. Trump repeatedly promised to replace it with, “Something terrific,” but failed to propose anything. You’re now promising something better, but Florida has more uninsured people than almost any other state. Why should Americans trust you more than any other Republicans who’ve disappointed them on this issue?

Ron DeSantis (01:40:13):

Well, I think we have millions of Americans who do not have access to affordable healthcare, and it’s not just getting some type of card and Medicaid, because a lot of times they don’t even get access to doctors. Do you actually get access to care?

The other thing is we have millions and millions of people that don’t have access to good doctors and good hospitals.

Florida did not expand Obamacare. I think the states that did that I think are struggling financially.

So that, yes, we declined to do that and I don’t think that that was the right policy to do, but we are going to go after the cost. You’re paying too much for everything. We’ve actually addressed this in Florida in some ways, but you need price transparency. You need to hold the pharmaceuticals accountable. You need to hold big insurance and big government accountable, and we’re going to get that done. I think it’s very, very important economically. I think it’s very, very important for the country that we get that done.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:41:02):

Go ahead.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:41:03):

Yeah, so I actually wanted it. This is a very personal issue to our family. I wanted to take actually a minute to recognize my wife who’s here today, badass surgeon. She did a bunch of cases with cancer survivors earlier today, flew here to be here tonight. We’ll be back at 7:00 AM in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow, taking care of those patients in the OR, and on the front lines of people who have actually not swallowed for years.

And here’s something that’s awful that’s happening in our healthcare system. They’ll pay for anything, like feeding tubes, doctors to be pill pushers, but for the procedures that can actually make these patients better, we have a broken healthcare system that doesn’t pay for it.

My wife, [inaudible 01:41:42] in many cases, does not get paid for those procedures. She does them anyway because it’s the right thing to do, but that does not work system-wide.

So, here’s the answer. We don’t have a healthcare system in this country. We have a sick care system. We need to start having diverse insurance options in a competitive marketplace that cover actual health, preventative medicine, diet, exercise, lifestyle and otherwise. And here’s how we deliver that, end the antitrust exemptions for health insurance companies. That’s where the competitive marketplace begins. That’s crony capitalism, and that’s the answer.

Megyn Kelly (01:42:17):

Next question’s for you. Okay, through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration and private industry developed a COVID vaccine in record time.

Speaker 11 (01:45:42):

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Speaker 3 (01:46:37):

If you’re not careful where you put your savings, the government can essentially rob you in plain sight.

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned us when he said, “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.” He’s right, deficit spending can cause inflation, which eats away at your savings even if you don’t see it at first.

Is there a solution? Yes. Greenspan thought so when he said, “Gold stands in the way of this insidious process.” This is where Birch Gold Group comes in. You see, Greenspan understood that true wealth preservation can come from physical assets like gold. We’ve helped Americans diversify their IRA or 401(k) into gold for over 20 years.

To get a free info kit from Birch Gold, text “now” to 989898 now. This is our gift to you. There’s no obligation and nothing to buy, just free info to help you diversify your hard-earned savings. Text “now” to 989898 right now.

Speaker 4 (01:47:37):

The Wellness Company and their doctors are medical professionals you can trust, and their new medical emergency kits are the gold standard when it comes to keeping you safe and healthy.

This medical emergency kit contains an assortment of life-saving medications, including Ivermectin, Z-Pak. Rest assured, knowing that you have emergency antibiotics, antivirals, and antiparasitics on hand to help you and your family stay safe from whatever life throws at you next.

Kevin Sorbo (01:48:09):

Do you owe over $10,000 in back taxes? Kevin Sorbo here with an important message. The Biden administration has proposed an $80 billion plan to boost IRS collections. This means they could garnish your wages, levy your bank account, and even seize your property. Tax Network USA, a trusted tax firm, can help protect your income and assets today while quickly settling your tax debt. But you have to act now while you still have options. Call Tax Network USA today.

Speaker 3 (01:48:55):

Did you know the government can essentially rob you in plain sight? Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan warned, “Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth,” but he added, “Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. Birch Gold Group has helped thousands of Americans diversify their IRA or 401(k) into gold. To get a free info kit from Birch Gold, text “now” to 989898. Again, text “now” to 989898 right now.

Eliana Johnsons (01:50:11):

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, final question before closing statements, and we want to get you all in, so we’re going to give you 45 seconds for this last one. Governor Christie, we’re going to start with you. Which former president would you draw inspiration from for your own presidency and why?

Chris Christie (01:50:30):

I would draw inspiration from Ronald Reagan. In the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time writing a book about President Reagan that’s going to be called What Would Reagan Do? That book’s going to come out early in 2024. And what I learned more than anything else was that Ronald Reagan was a slave to the truth. Ronald Reagan stood up for the truth, whether it was popular or unpopular at the moment. In 1964, he stood up against the John Birch Society when it was very unpopular to the party to do it, but he would not put up with our party standing for lies and deceit, even if it gave him political progress. That’s the kind of president that I will be, and I would draw that inspiration from the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.

Eliana Johnsons (01:51:14):

Ambassador Haley?

Nikki Haley (01:51:16):

Well, I have to say too, I think George Washington, when you look at the responsibilities he had, of how do you go and take on this great American experiment and make sure that the people are protected, and they always knew that government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people, it was never meant to be all things to all people. And then, you look at Abraham Lincoln and you look at the challenges and you look at the division that happened in our country and the ability to lead in spite of the loud noises and say what will bring out the best in people to get us to go forward is always something that’s important. And I think we need that now more than ever.

Eliana Johnsons (01:51:51):

Governor DeSantis?

Ron DeSantis (01:51:56):

Reagan, Washington, Lincoln, excellent. One of the guys I’ll take inspiration from is Calvin Coolidge. Now, people don’t talk about him a lot. He’s one of the few presidents that got almost everything right. He understood the proper role of the federal government under the Constitution. We need to restore the U.S. Constitution as the centerpiece of our national life. And that requires a president who understands the original understanding of the Constitution, who has a good sense of the Bill of Rights, and who knows how we’ve gone off track with this massive fourth branch of government, this administrative state which is imposing its will on us and is being weaponized against us. So, silent Cal knew the proper role of the federal government. The country was in great shape when he was President of the United States, and we can learn an awful lot from Calvin Coolidge.

Eliana Johnsons (01:52:44):

Over to you, Mr. Ramaswamy, to conclude our history lesson.

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:52:48):

Sure. Well, I will say Ron picked a president who was born on July 4th. I’ll pick one who died on July 4th. It’s Thomas Jefferson. He was 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. And you all are sitting on a swivel chair today, he invented the swivel chair while he was at it, while writing that Declaration of Independence. That’s that founding spirit that we miss, that we’re the pioneers, we’re the explorers, the guy who sent them out on the Lewis and Clark expeditions.

And I think a lot about what would Thomas Jefferson say to today’s Republican Party, and I think one thing he’d remind us of, we haven’t talked about as much tonight, but I think it is one of the interesting ideological discussions we’re having in our party, is freedom of speech. You get to express your mind freely no matter how heinous the opinion. Thomas Jefferson understood that. He’s an inspiration for me.

Eliana Johnsons (01:53:33):

Thank you, sir.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:53:33):

Thank you, Mr. Ramaswamy. And believe it or not, it’s time for closing statements. Governor Christie, would you like to begin?

Chris Christie (01:53:41):

Sure. Thank you. I want you all to kind of picture in your mind’s election day, you will all be heading to the polls to vote, and that’s something that Donald Trump will not be able to do because he will be convicted of felonies before then and his right to vote will be taken away.

Look, here’s the bottom line. You can boo about it all you like and continue to deny reality. But if we deny reality as a party, we’re going to have four more years of Joe Biden. When my colleagues here raised their hands and said they would support him even if he was a convicted felon, the bigger problem with it is they were confirming the lies he’s told to the American people. If you’re too timid to take on Trump, believe me, others will see that timidity; Xi, Putin, and the Ayatollah, the border crossers on the southern border, and the criminals in our streets. They’ll sense that timidity and they’ll take advantage of that failure or leadership.

We need to get back to an old American idea, that every person is responsible for their own conduct, even a president. I’ll be the kind of president who has the humility that knows that you work for the people. It’s not the other way around. I will earn your trust. I want to earn your vote.

Eliana Johnsons (01:54:57):

Thank you, Governor Christie. Mr. Ramaswamy?

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:55:00):

I’ll use this to just address a topic we didn’t talk about tonight, but I think is one of the most important topics that needs to be discussed. That is this climate change agenda that is shackling this country like a set of handcuffs. I said it the first debate and I stand by it, the climate change agenda is a hoax, because it has nothing to do with the climate. That’s what we have to see. 98% reduction in the climate disaster related deaths in the last century. Eight times as many people are going to die of cold temperatures this year than warm ones, yet against that backdrop, there’s an issue coming up in Iowa. It’s core to Iowa farmers.

I met Kim Junker, Kathy Stockdale and other farmers who are about to have a carbon capture pipeline built across their land using eminent domain to do it. That’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong. And if you thought COVID was bad, what’s coming with this climate agenda is far worse. We should not be bending the knee to this new religion. That is what it is. It is a substitute for a modern religion. We are flogging ourselves and losing our modern way of life, bowing to this new God of climate. And that will end on my watch.

Megyn Kelly (01:56:04):

Thank you. Ambassador Haley?

Vivek Ramaswamy (01:56:05):

It’s the most critical issue that’s coming up. Thank you.

Nikki Haley (01:56:10):

Thank you very much. Our country is in chaos. We see it on the southern border. We see it on our streets, in our cities, we see it on college campuses. We feel it with our economy, with inflation and with debt. And we feel it around the world with wars in Europe and within the Middle East. We have to stop the chaos, but you can’t defeat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos. And that’s what Donald Trump gives us.

My approach is different. No drama, no vendettas, no whining. I envision an America where we’re protected from illegal immigration and Chinese infiltration. I envision an America where we unleash our economy and we reject socialism. But more importantly, I envision an America where we rediscover our national purpose and our pride.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:57:04):

Thank you.

Nikki Haley (01:57:05):

I crushed Joe Biden in the polls-

Elizabeth Vargas (01:57:06):

Thank you.

Nikki Haley (01:57:07):

And if you give me this chance, we will crush him in November and take our country back.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:57:11):

Thank you, Governor.

Nikki Haley (01:57:11):

Go to

Elizabeth Vargas (01:57:11):

Thank you, Ambassador Haley.

Governor DeSantis?

Ron DeSantis (01:57:23):

We are in jeopardy of being the first generation of Americans to leave to our kids and grandkids an America less prosperous and less free than the one we inherited. I refuse to sit idly by and let that happen, but we got to have people that are going to be willing to fight the people that are doing this to us. You can’t be these establishment Republicans that just cave at the first sign of opposition. I’ll fight for you.

We also need to win again as a party. Yes, win the election, which we’ve struggled to do, but also win on these big issues. And nobody has defeated these people more than what I have done in the state of Florida. On issue after issue, we have won and we have won big. And that’s what we’ll do for you. We also need leadership. Leadership is not about doing what’s easy. It’s about being willing to set out that vision,

Eliana Johnsons (01:58:07):

Thank you.

Ron DeSantis (01:58:07):

… knowing they’re going to shoot arrows at you, they’re going to come at you.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:58:09):

Thank you.

Ron DeSantis (01:58:10):

I will fight the good fight. I will keep the faith that I will finish race.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:58:14):

Thank you. Thank you, Governor.

Ron DeSantis (01:58:14):

Thank you and God bless you.

Elizabeth Vargas (01:58:14):

Thank you all of you.

Megyn Kelly (01:58:14):

Thanks to all of you. Thanks for watching.

Eliana Johnsons (01:58:14):

Thank you guys.

Chris Christie (01:58:14):

Good job. See you soon.

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