With the second GOP presidential debate slated for September 27th, so far, there are seven candidates who not only survived the last debate but made enough waves to be invited for the second round.
Not making the cut to get an invite so far are Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) and former Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), who simply lack the polling and/or donations to be invited.
- Former President Donald Trump. Widely considered as the man to beat for the GOP primary, he stayed away from the first debate. Instead, he aired a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson. If you recall, Carlson had been recently let go from Fox News, who also was hosting the debate. This tongue-in-cheek moment was a shot across the bow as the network had pivoted towards another candidate. His recent announcements of wanting to work with liberals and not against them have many paying attention. This time around, he still won’t be at the debate, even though he’s been invited. Instead, he’ll be meeting with striking United Auto Workers in Detroit, Michigan.
- Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Trump’s closest competition, and Fox News darling, his policies and hardline conservative mindset have caused issues in Florida. Love or hate them, Disney is responsible for a lot of the good in Florida, and the same no-nonsense policies that saved the state during COVID are now costing them in their relationship with these parks. Being closed off to any idea but his own is his greatest strength, but paints a big target.
- Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. His foreign-born parents came here for the American dream, and he has achieved it. This multimillionaire was once the CEO of biotech giant Roivant. While attending Harvard, he tried his hand in many areas, including rapping. His background might not be as deep as many would like to see, but that inexperience also means a lack of bad habits, and he makes a great representative of how diverse and strong the GOP truly is.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence. Graduating as a lawyer, Pence held a private practice for several years and led two unsuccessful House bids in 1988 and 1990. He then spent some time in conservative entertainment and TV before making it to the House in 2000. And eventually became governor in 2012. He became most prolific as former President Trump’s Vice President. While not seen often in that office, his behind-the-scenes work, and coordination with military leaders were some of the most lauded in history.
- Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Recently called to receive the “Distinguished Christian Statesman Award” on September 15th, and he has been calling Biden out on the issues. While the only other actively serving candidate besides Gov. DeSantis, he has been ever-present in his duties for the people of South Carolina. While a Godly man, he has built his own business and helped represent his people in the Senate for South Carolina for over a decade.
- Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). Served the people of New Jersey as a United States Attorney from 2002 to 2008, and then as Governor from 2010 to 2018. Since then, he has been keeping involved in politics by airing his opinions and meeting with reporters. He’s been in high demand since he announced another try at being elected President, and he takes advantage of every moment to let the American people know what he meant to New Jersey. Those who are from or know about NJ know this is, unfortunately, not much to hang one’s hat on.
- Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC). Another elected official from South Carolina, she served as Governor from 2011 to 2017. She then was a US ambassador to the UN from January 2017 to December 2018. The first Indian American to serve in a Presidential Cabinet, she has had an established career after starting as an accountant. Her background is distinctly blue-collar, and she can speak to a variety of issues.
As of this point, it’s still anyone’s race. We are incredibly far out, but each debate gives us a better idea of what each candidate is about. Learning more about what makes them tick and what they believe in is always a good thing for the American people to hear. We just have to be mindful of the hogwash that often comes with these debates. As the first one showed us, it’s easy to get derailed in these debates.