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The Best Lines from the Republican Debate

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP/Morry Gash

Yes, the candidates want to connect with the voters with a first impression that will help fuel their campaign. But they know they will have many months of impressions. Style is important, but they want solutions. So what will viewers remember about what the candidates actually said? Here is a list of the “lines” worth running on in the months ahead:


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had positions that many felt helped him win the night:

“We must reverse Bidenomics so that middle class families have a chance of succeeding again. We cannot succeed as a country if you are working hard and you can’t afford groceries, a car, or home.” 

“When we had two of these district attorneys in Florida elected with Soros funding who said they wouldn’t do their job, I removed them from their post. They are gone. As president, we are going to go after all of these people because they are hurting the quality of life and they are victimizing innocent people in every corner of this country. It will stop when I get into office.” 

“We’ve got to focus on your future. We’ve got to focus on reversing the decline of our country. I learned in the military…you focus on the mission above all else. You can’t get distracted. So, Republicans, we’ve got to look forward. We’ve got to make sure we are bringing the message that will win in 2024.”

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy took a number of hits for his lack of political experience, but he made a winning point on the importance of school choice:

“We have a crisis of achievement. Let’s shut down the head of the snake, the Department of Education. Kick that $80 billion and put it in the hands of parents across this country. This is the civil rights issue of our time. Allow any parent to choose where they send their kids to school. End the teachers union at the local level. Allow public schools to compete.” 


Former Vice President Mike Pence was a bit condescending, but he still had some points worth sharing: 

“We are going to close the federal Department of Education, block grant all of that funding back to the states with a growing economy, educational choice, and law enforcement, we will bring our cities back.”

Former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had a winning, natural style that scored some important policy points and took on Trump’s candidacy:

“They need to stop the spending. They need to stop the borrowing. They need to eliminate the earmarks that Republicans brought back in, and they need to make sure understand that these are taxpayer dollars, not their dollars.” 

“What the people will tell you is that it’s time for a new generational, conservative leader. We have to look at the fact that three-quarters of Americans do not want a rematch between Trump and Biden. We have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can’t win a general election that way.” 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shared views on illegal aliens that many Americans feel:

“We need to stop any more from coming…. We have to enforce the law. We have to make sure that those who come here illegally are not rewarded for being here illegally. We have so many wonderful people from around the world who are waiting in line following the law to try to come here and pursue the American Dream."


South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott made a strong case against Biden’s alternative energy disaster:

“Why would we put ourselves in a disadvantage, devastating our own economy? Let's bring our jobs home.”

In short, each candidate had moments worth sharing. There is no question that any of them would be better than President Biden. Trump did not help himself by not attending. America got to see that there are alternatives worthy of our support. Bring on the next debate; we have more to learn.


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