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CORRESPONDENT

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley Shine in 3rd GOP Debate

John Gizzi By Thursday, 09 November 2023 09:15 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley were the big winners of the third Republican presidential debate, but there was still considerable force felt on the part of the candidate who wasn't there Wednesday evening — former President Donald Trump.

That was the opinion of a group of political experts who spoke to Newsmax shortly after the showdown between the five contenders who qualified for the GOP forum.

"Haley and DeSantis performed quite well, and the debate was issue-oriented and substantive," said G. Terry Madonna, Senior Fellow at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and long considered Pennsylvania's premier pollster. "True, they went after each other but that's really more typical than unusual."

Veteran North Carolina political analyst Marc Rotterman agreed, pointing out that former South Carolina Gov. Haley "came across as authentic and cool under fire. And she proved once again that she is very knowledgeable on a plethora of domestic and foreign policy issues."

DeSantis, in Rotterman's view, "was relaxed, on point, and seemed very presidential. He also personalized his answers and had his best night to date."

"DeSantis says all the right things, but still, there is something unsettling about his presentation," according to Californian Chapman University Prof. Luke Nichter, author of the critically acclaimed book "1968: The Year That Broke Politics."

"He is more like Richard Nixon in 1960 form than the more mature version who ultimately won the White House in 1968. While DeSantis is already exceptionally accomplished in the political realm, he is also young at 45 and will likely have another chance in the future. Like Nixon, perhaps he could benefit from a little more seasoning."

As for Haley, Nichter pointed out the South Carolinian "along with distinguishing herself as a national campaigner in recent weeks, served in Trump's Cabinet."

"If he is the nominee, it seems she could work with him again," Nichter continued. "Haley has another edge, too. With the Republican position on abortion again tested, as we saw this week in Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia, she has found a lane as a pro-life moderate. Since the first debate, she has been the only candidate arguing for a compromise position that will enable Republicans to win — something they struggled to do this week. It does not hurt that she is the only she on the debate stage either."

Inevitably, praise for the performances of Haley and DeSantis was accompanied by strong criticism of Vivek Ramaswamy and his aggressive platform style.

"Vivek Ramaswamy's contrived attempts at populism by attacking the party and other candidates continued to attract attention but yielded no substance," Prof. Emeritus John Ambrose of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Virginia told Newsmax. "His mini-me Trump imitation seems to have hit a ceiling in potential support. Why support a weak Trump clone, one wonders, when you can have the real thing, even though it's not on the stage?"

The political muscle of Trump was something to which Newsmax experts repeatedly returned to.

"Let's be clear: former President Trump remains the party's overwhelming favorite," said Rotterman. "And as long as that's the case, all the candidates on stage were just auditioning for backup quarterback."

Nichter predicted "Between now and the fourth debate, to be held on Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I suspect [former New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie and [South Carolina Sen.] Tim Scott will drop out."

"That will leave three — or will Trump finally participate and make it four? The lesson so far is that as long as Trump maintains his strong lead, the others have learned that efforts to criticize him boomerang according to recent polls," he continued. "In his closing statement tonight, Ramaswamy made a memorable appeal to Democrats to compel Biden to get out of the race and present their true candidate. Expect to hear more of that sort of talk as the Republican ranks are thinned further — and their collective attention is focused less on each other and more on the eventual Democratic nominee. It is only 68 days to the Iowa caucuses."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley were the big winners of the third Republican presidential debate, but there was still considerable force felt on the part of the candidate who wasn't there Wednesday evening — former President Donald Trump.
debate, haley, desantis, ramaswamy, trump
689
2023-15-09
Thursday, 09 November 2023 09:15 AM
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