GOP debate updates: TV ratings plummet as Haley addresses ‘scum’ spat

Five candidates faced off in the NBC News-hosted event in Miami, Florida

Oliver O'Connell,Gustaf Kilander
Saturday 11 November 2023 20:15 GMT

Haley calls Ramaswamy ‘scum’ for referencing her daughter during debate

The third Republican primary debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, featured a number of contentious exchanges over candidates’ policies and records with even the moderators and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel coming under fire early on.

Five candidates qualified for the showdown, broadcast by NBC News – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur and woke-bashing author Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Former President Donald Trump also qualified but did not attend, instead speaking at a rally in nearby Hialeah, Florida.

There were a number of fiery tussles throughout the evening including when Mr Ramaswamy was booed by the crowd for an attack on Ms Haley’s daughter with the former UN ambassador calling him “scum” in response — many agreed with her assessment.

Despite the fireworks, TV ratings slumped to the lowest yet in the 2024 cycle, with just 7.51 million viewers tuning in, according to NBC News.

The next debate is set for 6 December in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and will be hosted by NewsNation.


Ari Melber: Republicans ‘high on their own supply’ of election lies

MSNBC host Ari Melber quoted the movie Scarface and said that Republicans had bought into too many of their own lies about the 2020 presidential election.

Melber spoke on Thursday evening about how Republicans faced massive electoral defeats in Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia and noted how the Republican Party is now in thrall to the wing that supports former president Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election.

“The fact that the Trump wing of the party embraced denialism has hurt the party’s ability to get anywhere near competitive,” he said. “If you’re watching this and want a healthy democracy, that’s a bad thing. If you’re watching and want Republicans to keep losing elections you’re hoping they keep making this mistake.”

Melber then played a clip from the movie Scarface wherein Elvira Hancock, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, said “Lesson two, don’t get high on your own supply.”

Eric Garcia reports.

Republicans ‘high on their own supply’ of election lies, says MSNBC host

MSNBC host Ari Melber quoted the movie Scarface about Republican losses in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 20:15

Voices: GOP grapples with election losses: ‘It just means that the Republican platform sucks’

Eric Garcia writes:

“It just means that the Republican platform sucks, and that’s not what America wants,” Sen John Fetterman (D-PA) told The Independent. Mr Fetterman, of course, largely won his Senate seat in Pennsylvania last year on the back of the Dobbs backlash, especially when his Republican opponent, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz said that “women, doctors, local political leaders” should make decisions on abortion.

“And unfortunately, the states have to rebuild abortion in after the Supreme Court, but that’s exactly what they’re doing because that’s what the people want,” he said.

And Republicans seem to understand that abortion motivates voters. Sen Thom Tillis (R-NC) tried to note that all three contests were low-turnout races. But he also warned that this could lead to Democrats putting more abortion referendums on state ballots come 2024.

GOP grapples with election losses: ‘It just means that the Republican platform sucks’

‘We’ve got some work to do to get Republican turnout,’ the senator responsible for flipping the Senate tells The Independent.

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 19:15

Election officials in five states receive letters containing substances including fentanyl

Election officials are keeping a watchful eye on letters that arrive after a series of envelopes containing suspicious substances were sent to officials in Georgia, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington this past week.

Several election offices reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Postal Service Inspection Service that they received envelopes containing a “white powdery substance” and a threatening note about elections.

In Pierce County, Washington the auditor’s office shared a letter accompanied by the suspicious substance that read “End elections now”, according to The Associated Press.

Another “very similar” letter sent to the elections office in King County, Washington during the August primary contained fentanyl, elections director Julie Wise said.

Ariana Baio reports.

Letters containing suspicious substances sent to election officials in five states

Tuesday’s elections brought increased threats on election officials and workers across the country

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 18:15

Full story: Third GOP debate brought in lowest ratings yet

The third Republican presidential primary debate only drew in about 7 million viewers, making it the least-watched debate of the election season this year.

The NBC News broadcast aired during primetime, between 8pm and 10pm on Wednesday, and delivered 6.8m television viewers, of which 1.3m were in the 25-54 age demographic favoured by advertisers, according to Nielsen Media Research. All told including streaming, NBC News said it attracted about 7.5 million viwers.

The viewership data does not include those who watched the event on streaming services or viewed clips on social media and video streaming sites like YouTube.

Third GOP debate brought in lowest ratings yet

The third Republican debate did not break 7m viewers

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 16:15

‘Dumbest thing’ Ramaswamy did at GOP debate called out by Jimmy Kimmel

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel called out GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy for a low blow comment he made during the third GOP debate.

The Republican presidential debate took place in Miami on Wednesday night, with just five candidates taking to the stage after former vice president Mike Pence suspended his campaign and front-runner Donald Trump failed to attend.

The debate saw foreign policy issues dominate including the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, all the while the candidates continued to trade insults with each other.

But one particular moment caught the attention of Mr Kimmel, prompting the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host to condemn entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy as a “weird, unlikeable cartoon character of a person”.

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 15:15

War in Ukraine: Where the GOP candidates stand

As President Joe Biden likes to remind anyone who will listen, “This is not your grandfather’s Republican Party”.

That has never been more evident than when examining the way the 2024 Republican presidential candidates approach the topic of Ukraine.

Support for Ukraine is dividing the GOP field. Several candidates believe the US should continue to support the war effort – a stance that adheres to more traditional Republican foreign policy beliefs.

For years, leaders in the GOP like George W Bush sounded alarms about Russia and supported Nato membership for Ukraine.

But in more recent years, notably under former president Donald Trump, modern conservatives have embraced isolationism.

A number of other Republican candidates, including Mr Trump – the current frontrunner, have expressed support for this.

This is a rundown of what the GOP presidential candidates have said about Ukraine:

What are the Republican candidates’ views on the war in Ukraine

Leading Republican candidates share a similar stance of withdrawing the US from the international stage

Gustaf Kilander & Ariana Baio11 November 2023 14:15

ICYMI: Christie ties himself in knots on abortion in TV interview clash

Chris Christie battled with Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski over the issue of abortion on Thursday after a raucous GOP debate the night before reflected on Republican losses on the abortion rights front in Ohio and Virginia.

The former New Jersey governor is a frequent guest of the Morning Joe crew and typically receives a warm welcome on the show; Thursday morning, however, saw him accused of dishonesty by Brzezinski on the issue of abortions in the ninth month of the pregnancy.

Specifically, the MSNBC host claimed that Mr Christie had accused Democrats of supporting limitless abortion that late into the pregnancy.

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 13:15

Here’s what the GOP candidates have said about the Israel-Hamas conflict

The onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict was a major theme of the third Republican primary debate on 8 November, with candidates declaring their support for Israel in varying degrees.

Since the war began in early October, there have been disagreements regarding how the US should back Israel as an ally while also trying to protect the innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire.

Candidates were under more pressure this time around because they were given more time to answer thoughtfully thanks to the dwindling number of participants who met the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) stricter criteria.

Read what they had to say:

What the GOP debate candidates have said about the Israel-Hamas conflict

Questions about the Israel-Hamas conflict are sure to come up during the third and fourth Republican debates

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 12:15

Where does Nikki Haley stand on the issues?

Nikki Haley has quickly ascended in the polls, becoming the most likely Republican candidate to serve as the alternative to former President Donald Trump in the 2024 race – albeit still a long way behind the frontrunner.

Ms Haley boasts experience in foreign policy – at a time of extreme international instability – served as UN ambassador in the Trump administration and left, allowing her to align herself on some policies while putting just enough distance from the frontrunner, and served as the governor of South Carolina, an early voting state.

The 51-year-old differs from the bulk of the GOP field when it comes to abortion, social security, and foreign policy.

After three impassioned debate performances, the spotlight continues to shine on her.

Here is a glance at where she stands on the issues:

Where 2024 Republican candidate Nikki Haley stands on the issues

Former UN ambassador differs from the bulk of the GOP field when it comes to abortion, social security, and foreign policy — and has been forced to clarify her stance on China

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 10:15

ICYMI: Nikki Haley ‘goes Will Smith’

Ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley went after entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy during the third Republican debate in Miami, slamming him for mentioning her daughter’s use of the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

“In the last debate, she made fun of me for actually joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time. So you might want to take care of your family first,” Mr Ramaswamy said on Wednesday night about the app owned by the company ByteDance, which is based in Beijing.

“Leave my daughter out of your voice. You’re just scum,” Ms Haley responded, with Mr Ramaswamy’s attack leading to boos from the audience.

Nikki Haley ‘goes Will Smith’ as she berates Vivek Ramaswamy

‘Enough of the virtue signaling from people like @NikkiHaley who rails against TikTok even as her adult daughter has been on the platform for years,’ Ramaswamy writes on X

Oliver O'Connell11 November 2023 08:15

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