Third Republican Presidential Debate: Divisions within the Party and Calls for Trump to Explain Election Losses

The third Republican presidential debate took place on Wednesday, with the focus on foreign policy crises and the party’s recent election losses.[0] The candidates blamed former President Donald Trump for the embarrassing defeats in Kentucky and Virginia.[1] Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed his frustration with Republicans losing and criticized Trump for not draining the swamp as he promised. DeSantis also mentioned Trump’s quote about Republicans getting tired of winning, saying that he is sick of Republicans losing. He called on Trump to explain why he didn’t fulfill his promise.

The debate featured five GOP candidates: DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.[2] They were asked to explain why voters should choose them as the Republican nominee instead of Trump.[3] DeSantis, as the runner-up in primary polls, was the first to answer.[3] He invoked Trump’s quote about Republicans getting tired of winning, stating that he is tired of losing and knows how to win.

Throughout the debate, there were tense moments between the candidates. Ramaswamy criticized Haley for calling out his campaign’s use of TikTok, a social media app.[4] He brought up Haley’s daughter’s use of the app, suggesting that she should take care of her family first.[5] Haley responded angrily, telling Ramaswamy to leave her daughter out of the discussion and calling him “scum.”

The debate also touched on issues such as the Israel-Hamas conflict, abortion, and immigration. DeSantis expressed his support for Israel’s military response to Hamas attacks and called for decisive action against the terrorist group.[6] Haley warned about the dangers of electing someone like Ramaswamy, claiming that leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping would be pleased if he became president.[7]

While the debate had some heated exchanges, it was generally more substantive than previous debates. The candidates discussed how to keep Social Security solvent and disagreed on approaches such as means testing and raising the retirement age.[7] However, they did not provide specific details on the ideal retirement age.[2]

Overall, the debate highlighted the divisions within the Republican Party and the candidates’ differing views on key issues. The dissatisfaction with Trump among some candidates was evident, with DeSantis calling on him to explain why he should get another chance.[3] The race for the Republican nomination remains highly competitive, and it is unclear who will emerge as the frontrunner.

0. “Republican presidential candidates take the stage in Florida for third debate” WESH 2 Orlando, 9 Nov. 2023,

1. “Republican Debate Update: Candidates Spar Over Foreign Policy, Blame Trump” Bloomberg, 9 Nov. 2023,

2. “5 Republican candidates debated in Miami. Here are some highlights” NPR, 8 Nov. 2023,

3. “Crowd Told to Stop Chanting ‘Ron’ at Republican Debate” Newsweek, 9 Nov. 2023,

4. “Takeaways from the third Republican presidential debate” CNN, 9 Nov. 2023,

5. “Trump’s rivals pledge to back Israel at third Republican debate” The Jerusalem Post, 9 Nov. 2023,

6. “Support for Israel and verbal sparring propel fiery third Republican debate” The Guardian US, 8 Nov. 2023,

7. “Election 2024: 5 GOP candidates for president to debate in Miami” UPI News, 9 Nov. 2023,

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