Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Highlights from the Third Republican Presidential Debate

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The five candidates from the November 8th debate | Photo Credit: Getty Images

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the third presidential Republican Party debate took place. The participating candidates were Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie and Tim Scott. Donald Trump chose not to participate and instead held a rally in a neighboring Florida town. Trump, who is the frontrunner of the Republican party, was hardly mentioned during the debate. The candidates instead focused on expressing their own viewpoints on issues rather than comparing themselves or other candidates to Trump.

The debate brought up many issues that were brought up at the second debate that took place in September, but an added topic of conversation was the Israel-Hamas War, as the Hamas attack on Israel took place a little over a month prior to the debate. All five candidates expressed support for Israel. None of them mentioned the need for humanitarian support or aid in Gaza. However, they did express their disdain for Biden’s initiative to address Islamophobia in the nation. DeSantis emphasized that antisemitism is the problem that needs to be confronted.

Another topic discussed was national security concerns regarding China. They discussed their plans to ban TikTok if they were elected into office and there was some debate over which of the candidates would be the toughest regarding China and national security.

A final topic discussed, of major importance to the Republican party, is federal abortion laws. It has become abundantly clear that the candidates cannot come to a consensus on the best route, and this third debate did not bring them closer to an answer. Both Nikki Haley and Chris Christie explained that getting an abortion ban passed on a federal level would be a challenge, so it is best left up to the states, while Scott believes that a 15-week abortion ban could be passed federally. This divide may lead candidates to sway one way or another in the primaries.

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The next Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Dec. 6. So far, it seems that only Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley will be present, as Donald Trump declined the invitation again. With the Iowa caucus on Jan. 15, it will be interesting to see where the Republican party lies after this upcoming debate and if the candidates will come to an agreement on any more topics before them.

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