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Presidential Hopefuls Attack Transgender Youth in 4th Republican Debate

HeadlineDec 07, 2023

In Alabama, just four candidates took part in the fourth Republican presidential primary debate Wednesday evening. Donald Trump again skipped the debate, holding a fundraiser instead. Host Megyn Kelly set the stage for an unabated attack on transgender youth; here she questions former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who opposes trans healthcare bans, citing parental rights.

Megyn Kelly: “The surgeries done on minors involve cutting off body parts at a time when these kids cannot even legally smoke a cigarette. Kids who go from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones are at a much greater likelihood of winding up sterile. How is it that you think a parent should be able to OK these surgeries, never mind the sterilization of a child? And aren’t you way too out of step on this issue to be the Republican nominee?”

Chris Christie: “No, I’m not, because I — because Republicans believe in less government, not more, in less involvement with government, not more government involvement in people’s lives.”

Other candidates took host Megyn Kelly’s bait to attack trans rights and cite medical falsehoods, with businessman Vivek Ramaswamy calling “transgenderism” a “mental health disorder.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had this exchange with former Trump U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “If you’re somebody that’s going to be the president of the United States and you can’t stand up against child abuse, how are you going to be able to stand” —

Nikki Haley: “I never said that.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: — “up for anything?”

Nikki Haley: “I” —

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “That is the truth.”

Nikki Haley: “I never said that.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “We have it — we have it on video.”

Nikki Haley: “I said — I said that if you have to be 18 to get a tattoo, you should have to be 18 to have anything done to change your gender.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “You said the law should stay out of it.”

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