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Who will be there? Who will be there? The candidates had to agree to support the party’s eventual nominee by signing a pledge.
Gov. Doug Burgum
— The North Dakota Governor has cut taxes and rolled back the transgender right. He is expected to highlight his small-town roots. Burgum attacked climate solutions during the first debate. He also stressed the importance of domestic jobs and the security of the southern border.
Gov. Chris Christie
— The former New Jersey Governor is launching a new bid for the Republican nomination. Christie was expected to position him as the conservative alternative for Trump, after breaking ties to the former president in the wake of the attack on the Capitol. In an interview with NPR after the first debate, Christie said that he entered this race because he felt no one else was making the case. No one wanted to confront Donald Trump directly about why his behavior disqualified him from ever becoming president of the United States. Ron DeSantis – The Florida governor was the target of Trump’s attack ads. He also received criticism from Republicans over the laws he signed to restrict abortion access in Florida and his immigration response. He has widely been seen as the most viable GOP opponent to Trump, but his campaign has faced challenges including staffing turnover.
Former South Carolina Gov. Haley, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations and the first to take on the former president, was the most prominent challenger. Her campaign hasn’t taken off despite a strong performance at the first GOP debate. He also denounced former President Obama’s involvement in efforts to overturn 2020 election results. Pence criticized Trump for pressuring him to refuse counting certain Electoral College ballots, a theory Pence rejected as being unconstitutional. Pence continues to attack his former boss on the campaign trail. Former tech and finance executive, Vivek Ramaswamy, has been arguing in conservative circles against the environmental social governance (ESG), and against “woke-ism”. Ramaswamy’s campaign received a boost after the first GOP debate. Tim Scott
–Another South Carolina candidate, Scott brings diverse backgrounds and upbringings to the Republican Party. Scott stated that he would build the border wall and increase job creation in the United States. He also said that states such as California and New York could not have abortions until after birth.
Trump is eligible but choosing not to attend, despite being the current front runner for the nomination.
Not eligible for the debate: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was not selected for the second debate. Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, former Texas Congressman Will Hurd, conservative talk show host Larry Elder and Texas pastor Ryan Binkley.
What is Trump doing instead? Despite meeting donor and fundraising thresholds, the former president will head to Michigan that day to speak to striking union autoworkers as they call for better contract terms from the Big Three automakers.
Trump is using his upcoming trip to position himself as a viable alternative to incumbent Democrat President Biden who received the UAW’s coveted 2020 endorsement. Biden won a majority of votes from union households during that election. This helped him win battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. All of these states were won by Trump in 2016. Biden was on the picket lines Tuesday. Still, the UAW holds Biden’s foot to the fire in order to reach a settlement. It is unlikely that the UAW will endorse Trump. UAW President Shawn Fain said more than once that another Trump administration would be a “disaster.” Fain was blunt in his response to Trump’s visit. We can’t elect billionaires and millions of dollars who don’t understand what it’s like to struggle and live paycheck-to-paycheck and expect them solve the problems facing the working class. “