The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

The School Newspaper of Rouse High School

Raider Rumbler

G.O.P. Candidates Clash in Second Presidential Debate

Republican candidates debate on Ukraine aid, immigration, government shutdown and abortion stance
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The second G.O.P. debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sep. 27. The republican candidates present at the debate included North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. 

In order to participate in the second debate, each candidate needed to reach polling thresholds which were put in place by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Candidates are placed on stage based on their standing in the polls. Even though Former President Trump currently holds a massive lead over the Republican primary field, he was absent from the debate night and instead chose to speak to an audience in Detroit. 


The United States has sent more than $26 billion in economic aid to Ukraine for the war against Russia. “Ninety percent of the resources that we send over to Ukraine is guaranteed as a loan,” Scott said. “An attack on NATO territory would bring us and our troops in [to the war]. By degrading the Russian military, we reduce, if not eliminate, an attack on NATO territory.”

Most of the candidates on stage defended American aid to Ukraine. Christie was most vocal on the issue, as he mentioned that China, Iran and North Korea have all joined Russia in the war against Ukraine. Christie warned that if territory in Ukraine is ceded to Russia, Poland might be next.

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Immigration Policies

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy reiterated his stance on ending birthright citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States. While discussing the topic of the border crisis, he expressed his support for this policy change. 

“I favor ending birthright citizenship for the kids of illegal immigrants in this country,” Ramaswamy said. “Now the left will howl about the Constitution and the 14th Amendment. The difference between me and them is I’ve actually read the 14th Amendment.”

According to Ramaswamy, the 14th Amendment states that individuals born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its laws and jurisdiction are citizens. He argued that even legal scholars and judges do not believe that the child of a Mexican diplomat, for example, enjoys birthright citizenship. Therefore, he contended that if the child of a Mexican diplomat does not receive birthright citizenship, neither should the child of an undocumented migrant who entered the country illegally. Ramaswamy initially expressed his support for changing this policy in July, and he continues to stand by his viewpoint.

Government Shutdown

While the potential government shutdown was mentioned in the early minutes of the debate with Haley mentioning how “Congress has only delivered a budget on time four times in 40 years,” it was only in the final seven minutes when Scott mentioned that he’d like to continue conversing on the topic. Border security is an issue at the center of the budget dispute in Congress which is likely to shut down the government on Sunday. 

Instead of bringing up budget and government spending Scott began attacking Haley, claiming she spent $50,000 on curtains during her time as an ambassador at the United Nations. The exchange between the two was cut off by the moderators, but both candidates addressed it post debate. 

“You look at the fact that Congress has not done anything about the open border,” Haley said. “They’ve spent like drunken sailors. It’s not about Tim Scott. It’s about all of Congress. And now we’re looking at a government shutdown. They need to do their job. The American people are tired of it.”


The abortion discussion remained elusive throughout the debate, only surfacing after more than 100 minutes of deliberation. The moderators broached the topic by asking DeSantis about concerns within the Republican party regarding the potential electoral backlash to abortion bans, which could potentially hinder the eventual GOP nominee.

In response, DeSantis, who had previously signed a six-week ban in April, dismissed these concerns. The Florida governor previously signed a measure prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks in 2022. The state supreme court is currently considering a challenge to the 15-week ban, and the outcome of that case will impact whether the six-week law takes effect.

The second G.O.P debate was filled with heated exchanges and digs at other political candidates. All the candidates were vying to be the alternate to the frontrunner and former President Donald Trump. The candidates repeatedly talked over each other which made it a poorly moderated debate. But, It definitely served as a platform for the voters to be more knowledgeable about the republican primary and helped shape public opinion about each of the candidates.


*Editor’s note: Aradhya Bharti is a student writer. All views expressed in the commentary are her own and are independent of the district, Rouse High School and the publication.

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