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The new Murphy Crossing MARTA Station located in southwest Atlanta will be developed jointly by real estate development company Culdesac, Inc. in partnership with Urban Oasis Development.
New MARTA Stations announced, establish rail and BeltLine connection
Shalin BhatiaMay 27, 2024

In his State of the City address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new MARTA rail station in southwest Atlanta adjacent to the Atlanta...

Second GOP debate heats up, candidates fire at Trump

The+Second+GOP+Debate+took+place+on+Wednesday+Sept.+27%2C+at+the+Ronald+Reagan+Presidential+Library+in+Simi+Valley%2C+California.+From+the+left%2C+North+Dakota+Gov.+Doug+Burgum%2C+former+New+Jersey+Gov.+Chris+Christie%2C+former+United+Nations+Ambassador+Nikki+Haley%2C+Florida+Gov.+Ron+DeSantis%2C+businessman+Vivek+Ramaswamy%2C+Sen.+Tim+Scott+and+former+Vice+President+Mike+Pence+debate+for+the+presidential+seat.+
Courtesy of CNN
The Second GOP Debate took place on Wednesday Sept. 27, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. From the left, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott and former Vice President Mike Pence debate for the presidential seat.

Seven candidates took the stage for the second Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on Wednesday, after former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson failed to qualify this time

Hosted by FOX Business and Univision, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum argued about topics including the repeated absence of former President Donald Trump, the growing list of strikes in several industries, support for Ukraine, abortion rights, immigration and Latino voters.

Criticisms for Trump, Biden, each other 

Both beginning and ending the debate’s discussions, all GOP contenders criticized Trump who has yet to attend a presidential debate this election season. Trump was absent during the debate as he instead went to Michigan, aiming to capitalize on the auto workers’ strike. However, he remains ahead in the polls

DeSantis outwardly criticized Trump’s deficit spending policy saying that his spending led to the current national inflation. Christie agreed with DeSantis, saying that Trump should be at the debate to defend his record and called the forerunner “Donald Duck.”

Early in the debate, President Joe Biden was a topic of discussion as candidates began criticizing him. Scott said that Biden shouldn’t be joining the striking auto workers’ union on the picket line Tuesday in Michigan, but instead should be on the southern border working to increase safety. Similarly, Pence said Biden should be “on the unemployment line.” Burgum said Biden was interfering with “free markets.”

Haley, who has recently gained more followers and is noticeably outpacing other candidates in the polls, chastised Ramaswamy by saying, “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber.” Haley continued by speaking directly to Ramaswamy saying, “We can’t trust you.”

Similarly, Scott criticized Ramaswamy saying that his business record had ties to the Chinese Communist Party and funding going towards Hunter Biden. This shifted Ramasaway’s previous praise of his competitors to taking a more defensive tone. Later in the debate, Pence targeted Ramaswamy in another response when saying, “I’m glad Vivek pulled out of his business deal in China.” 

Workers’ strikes on the rise, affects economy

The opening seconds of the debate began with addressing the highest-profile economic dispute in America today — the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike in Michigan, a topic that quickly shifted to other topics, all of which Biden was claimed to blame. Ramaswamy said that he sympathized with the workers but that their tactics were misdirected. “Go picket in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.,” he said. Pence said he would defend the workers’ choice with or without their membership in a union. Haley said the strikes were caused by Biden’s spending “that’s raised inflation.” 

To support or not to support Ukraine

In regards to a longstanding topic of discussion, as the issue itself is ongoing, Ramaswamy and Haley clashed with their thoughts on funding for Ukraine. Ramaswamy said the U.S. should cut funding to Ukraine. “Just because Putin’s an evil dictator does not mean Ukraine is good,” he said. Haley interrupted him, defending the need to defeat Putin and Russia and attacking Ramaswamy’s business track record, saying, “A win for Russia is a win for China. I forgot, you like China.”

For the other candidates, DeSantis also opposed U.S. aid to Ukraine while Christie, Pence and Scott backed U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Brief topic of discussion: abortion

After approximately 100 minutes of debate, the first question on abortion was broached. Five minutes after that, the conversation passed. 

A question about whether some Republicans were right to worry that the electoral backlash to abortion bans would limit the eventual GOP nominee, directed toward DeSantis, introduced the subject to the debate. With his response, as he had signed a six-week abortion ban in April, DeSantis dismissed the concern and emphasized his success in traditionally liberal parts of Florida with his reelection in 2022. 

Christie took a similar stance, referring to his two terms as governor of New Jersey, a traditionally blue state, highlighting that it’s possible for an anti-abortion politician to win the support of individuals who generally support abortion rights. 

With that, the abortion discussion ended with no attempts from other candidates to contribute.

Talk on Latino voters, immigration

In the last moments of the debate, Pence was asked how he would reach out to the Latino voters who felt the Republican Party was hostile. In response, he mentioned his pride in the tax cut and tax reform bill, referring to the Republicans’ 2017 tax law which increased inequality and tax cuts for the wealthy, ultimately leaving Latinos behind. He also referenced low unemployment rates for Hispanic Americans during the Trump-Pence administration.

To the same question, Scott said, “My chief of staff is the only Hispanic female chief of staff in the Senate. I hired her because she was the best, highest-qualified person we have.”

Another popular point of discussion in this debate was the southern border. For 20 minutes, the candidates argued for tougher lines on border security. “Every county in America is now a border county,” Scott proclaimed, saying Biden should finish Donald Trump’s border wall. Ramaswamy said he would “militarize” the U.S. border with Mexico. DeSantis pushed for his plan to deploy the U.S. military on Mexican cartels. Christie enlisted that this issue was of utmost priority saying he would send the U.S. National Guard to the border on “Day One” of his presidency to stop fentanyl from being smuggled into the U.S. Haley related this issue to the collective criticism toward Biden saying, “When Joe Biden waved the green flag, it caused more people to come.”

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About the Contributor
Shea Edwards
Shea Edwards, Editor in Chief
Shea Edwards is a senior and this is her fourth year writing for the Southerner. This year, she is editor in chief for the lifestyle section. Outside of working on the paper, she loves to play lacrosse both in and out of school, participates in several extracurriculars, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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