Eight Republican presidential candidates faced off Wednesday night in Milwaukee for the first primary debate of the 2024 campaign, but the front runner was not among them.
Two contenders for the Democratic nomination are being shut out by the incumbent as they vie for attention, ad President Joe Biden is following the lead of former President Donald Trump and refusing to engage his primary challengers.
“The Republican debate last night was out of sync with the mood of the country,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. “It began with a request for comment on Oliver Anthony’s song, ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’ Now that is an extraordinary song — raw, yet intelligent; defiant, yet compassionate. It’s about working-class hardship. It is about low wages (‘bullshit pay’). It’s about degraded food supply, elite corruption, obesity, homelessness, despair.”
“The candidates could have talked about these things. But they said nothing about the desperation and hardship working people face in this country. They said nothing about wages, housing costs, food costs, child care costs, and medical costs, or what we can do about it. They said nothing about the systemic corruption that enriches corporations and the elites as swaths of the former middle class fall into poverty,” said Kennedy.
“Instead, they recycled Reagan-era cliches about cutting spending, being ‘tough’ on drugs, crime, China, etc., and ending abortion,” said Kennedy. “They were obsessed with ‘America’s adversaries’ — but blind to how our policies have been deliberately constructed to CREATE adversaries and enrich the defense industry while bankrupting the nation.”
“They were obsessed with closing the border (which I agree with), but have no proposals to expand legal immigration or address the conditions that drive migration (again, in large part that is U.S. policy.),” said Kennedy.
“They obsess about cutting spending (except defense — they want MORE of that) but offer no innovative proposals to address the decay of our infrastructure, wages, and environment,” said Kennedy. “Our nation deserves better than posturing and bickering masquerading as debate. Instead of arguing, we can tap into the swelling popular will to turn this country around.”
“Oliver Anthony has tapped into something that can unify our nation. Nearly everyone wants to reverse our decline, to end the corruption, to rebuild from the inside. Let’s talk about how to do that,” said Kennedy.
Meanwhile, Marianne Williamson lamented, “… there’s no primary on our side when there’s a primary.”
“And no one is supposed to question that, or run against it,” said Williamson. “Meanwhile, Biden has taken out a $25 million ad buy focusing on Bidenomics.”
“The DNC strategy is not to tell you what Biden is going to do for you over the next 4 years, but to brag about what he’s already done… whether it actually affected your life or not,” said Williamson.
“In the first Republican debate, on Wednesday night in Milwaukee, the Biden-orchestrated fiasco in Afghanistan of two years ago came up only fleetingly. His appeasement of the Chinese Communist Party and its dictator for life, Xi Jinping, barely rated a whisper. Not a word was spoken about the left’s sustained assault on the Supreme Court and the mortal threat it poses to the rule of law,” said Hugh Hewitt. “Instead of calling viewers’ attention to Biden’s disastrous first term and why, for the good of the nation, he must be denied a second one, the Republican candidates mostly agreed with each other on everything — but did so in a combative way that will serve only to further divide an already divided GOP primary electorate.”
Will Hurd — former Republican congressman from Texas, current Republican candidate for president —wanted to be with the other candidates are in Milwaukee for the first GOP debate of the 2023 primary, but didn’t qualify according to the opaque and arbitrary Republican National Committee’s polling-based selection process.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had the least amount speaking time although aside from Hurd, he has the most cogent campaign.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy was under attack for much of the night, brawling with former Vice President Mike Pence over his experience, former South Carolina Gov. Nimrata Haley over foreign policy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over his allegiance to Trump.
NeoNazi Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came with the expectation that he would be the focal point of the debate, but he was largely ignored although it is not clear whether that is due his failure to make sense or the incompetence exhibited by his campaign.
Senator Tim Scott got about as much attention as one would expect a Black man to get from the Republican Party as did North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who is White and bought his way onto the stage with an apparently illegal fundraising scheme.
While the network claims 50 million viewers tuned to Fox News to watch the Republican presidential primary debate, a staggering 74 million people watched Trump, who skipped the debate, in a 46-minute interview with Tucker Carlson released on a social media and the Internet.