SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Donald Trump’s rivals ripped him repeatedly during Wednesday’s second presidential debate. Former President In order for them to avoid the event, they tried to deprive him Commanding the initial front In the Republican primary.
“He should be on this stage tonight,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantisHe has been trying to position himself as the leading Trump alternative despite his recent existence Struggles Break from the rest of the back. “He owes it to you to protect his record of $7.8 trillion in debt that set the stage for the inflation we have now.
Seven GOP candidates Square off for Fox Business Network at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Trump was in MichiganGiving a prime-time speech, followed by the opening of the debate, was tried Capitalize On top of that Auto Workers Union Trying to appeal to union members in a key state that could help decide a strike and general election.
The debate comes at a critical moment in the GOP campaign, with Iowa caucuses less than four months away from formally kicking off the presidential nominating process. Trump continues to dominate the field, despite facing a range of vulnerabilities including: Four criminal charges This raises the possibility of decades in prison.
People on stage booed that Trump didn’t show up. DeSantis said a few minutes in that president Joe Biden “Leadership has been completely missing in action. And you know who’s been missing in action? Donald Trump has been missing in action.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who built his campaign around criticizing Trump, said the former president “hides behind the walls of his golf clubs and doesn’t come here to answer questions like everyone else comes here.” Answer.”
Trump, meanwhile, only alluded to the debate during his speech, drawing boos when he said “we’re competing with job candidates” and mocking them for not drawing large crowds like him. The former president’s rivals are running out of time to put him in front, fueling a sense of urgency among some to take him directly in front of millions of viewers.
That can be a tall order. Hours before the event began in Simi Valley, 40 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, the first supporters of any campaign waved Trump flags and held up a banner that read: “Trump, our last hope for America and the world.” ”
It underscores the former president’s continued influence in the debate, in which he was absent. Trump ignored it The first debate took place in Milwaukee last month, participants criticized each other while mostly avoiding attacks on Trump. Not so this time.
“Donald, I know you’re watching. You can’t help yourself,” Christie said. “You ignore these things. And let me tell you what’s going to happen. You keep doing it, and nobody here is going to call you Donald Trump. We’re going to call you Donald Duck.
Former Vice President Mike Pence called Trump “my former vice chancellor.”
Nikki HaleyFormer South Carolina Governor and Ambassador to the United Nations, Attracted large crowds and renewed interest After his first debate show, Biden spoke at length about the administration’s failure to secure the US-Mexico border.
After the attack during the first debate, the businessman Vivek Ramasamy He took a softer stance during the second lesson, as the candidates talked about the UAW strike.
“My father watched layoffs at GE during Jack Welch’s tenure at the GE plant in Evendale, Ohio. My mother had to work overtime in nursing homes in southwest Ohio. So I understand that hardship is not a choice. But suffering is a choice.
But he was heavily criticized by South Carolina Sen. Tim ScottAn exchange the two spoke to each other became difficult to touch and understand.
DeSantis also lashed out at Ramasamy, who Pence said he failed to vote for in the past several elections. Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum Ran away from Ramaswamy, but repeatedly jumped in to answer unasked questions to get more screen time in the debate’s early going.
Another Trump critic, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, failed to qualify after first debate. He also moved to a Detroit suburb, saying, “Donald Trump is in Detroit tonight because he wants to avoid a debate.”
Wednesday’s platform was symbolic of the fact that Reagan has long been an icon of the Republican Party, whose words and key moments still shape GOP politics today. But in addition to squabbling with the leaders of the Reagan library, Trump has reshaped the party and distanced itself from Reagan.
Biden was on the beach in Northern California for a fundraiser. His re-election campaign sparked several days of counter-programming in California, with Trump and followers of his Make America Great Again movement seeking to brand him as too radical. The state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, is a vocal public face of Biden’s re-election campaign and, with Trump’s sizable primary presence, has called the debate entertainment for political junkies.
“It’s a side show by any objective measure,” Newsom told The Associated Press. “You’ve got a guy who’s practical.”
The discussion, Newsome added, is “JV, XFL stuff.”
Weissert reported from Washington.