You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

8 GOP Hopefuls Square Off in Primary Debate Shunned by Front-Runner Donald Trump

HeadlineAug 24, 2023

Republican presidential candidates faced off in their first debate Wednesday evening, but front-runner Donald Trump refused to take part. During the debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, all eight participants declined to raise their hands when asked by Fox News moderator Martha MacCallum if human activity was to blame for the climate crisis.

Martha MacCallum: “Do you believe in human behavior is causing climate change? Raise your hand if you do.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “Look, we’re not schoolchildren. Let’s have the debate. I mean, I’m happy to take it to start.”

Bret Baier: “So, do you want to raise your hand or not?”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “I don’t think that’s the way to do.”

While Trump skipped the debate, he appeared instead in a pretaped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that was posted on X minutes before the presidential primary debate started. In the interview, Trump predicted the U.S. will see more political violence — and defended his supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Donald Trump: “People in that crowd said it was the most beautiful day they’ve ever experienced. There was love in that crowd. There was love and unity. I have never seen such spirit and such passion and such love.”

After headlines, we’ll air excerpts from the Republican debate and speak with national affairs correspondent John Nichols of The Nation magazine.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation