Fourth Republican debate LIVE: Vivek Ramaswamy defends call to give all people in Taiwan an AR-15 to defend against China

Second Amendment

The fourth Republican presidential primary debate is hosted by NewsNation at the University of Alabama


Qualifiers are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Former President Donald Trump is again skipping out on the showdown. 

Follow along for’s live coverage of the latest Republican primary debate.  

Vivek Ramaswamy’s senior advior told that they toyed with the idea of him creating a visual aid on the deabte stage with the papers provided for notes.

‘Ithink that we had kind of fooled around with it,’ Tricia McLaughlin said following the debate. ‘It’s very meme-able.’

She added: ‘He probably wrote down other notes, but that was the most important note.’

At tonight’s debate, Ramaswamy held up a sign he created writing, ‘Nikki = Corrupt’ in reference to 2024 competitor Nikki Haley, who was on stage.

For the whole debate, Ramaswamy had an ink blot on his hand – likely from creating the sign.

Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, at the Moody Music Hall at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Vivek Ramaswamy spoke most and Chris Christie least

Vivek Ramaswamy racked up the most speaking time, getting 22 minutes and 36 seconds to make his case.

That was well over five minutes more than Chris Christie who got only 16 minutes and 52 seconds.

Christie wasn’t called on by the moderators for the first quarter of an hour.

Nikki Haley got nearly as little time as Christie – 17 minutes 28 seconds.

Ron DeSantis was given significantly more – 21 minutes 8 seconds.

Vivek Ramaswamy spent much of the debate attacking Nikki Haley

Ever the showman Ramaswamy at one point held up a note pad on chiwh he had hurriedly scribbled that Halwey is ‘corrupt’.

It didn’t land particuallry well with the audience and Haley decided she didn’t want to respond.

Chris Christie calls Vivek Ramaswamy the ‘most obnoxious blowhard in America’

Chris Christie delivered several of the more memorable lines of the night.

Here he is going full bore at Vivek Ramaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy defends call to give all people in Taiwan an AR-15 to defend against China and open a branch of the NRA

Vivek Ramaswamy defended his plan to give every member of the Taiwanese public an AR-15 to defend against China when asked how he would deal with Xi Jingping on Wednesday night.

Moderator Elizabeth Vargas asked him how he would implement his policy when the President of Taiwan has issued a zero gun policy.

‘I think the next U.S. President needs to be clear that they will absolutely defend Taiwan… and take it to the next level.

‘They need to be able to block the sea where China gets most of its Middle Eastern oil supplies.

‘I believe that the second amendment is a way to prevent autocrats.

‘It has worked in America and why not in Taiwan? It’s part of a broader strategy. XI jinping is encroaching by the day.

‘The reason he is doing it is because we’re scared’.

The 2024 GOP candidates each name a former president who inspires them

Chris Christie: Ronald Reagan

Christie plugged his book called ‘What Would Reagan Do?’ coming out in early 2024.

‘What I learned more than anything else, Ronald Reagan was a slave to the truth, he stood up for the truth whether popular or unpopular.’

‘That’s the kind of president I will be, and I will draw that inspiration from the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.’

Nikki Haley: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

Haley said that George Washington had the responsibility of tackling how to ‘take on this great American experiment, and make sure that the people are protected.’

She added in that Abraham Lincoln’s leadership amid the ‘challenges and the division that happened in our country,’ was inspiring.

‘I think that we need that now more than ever,’ she said.

Ron DeSantis: Calvin Coolidge

‘People don’t talk about him a lot,’ said DeSantis.

‘But he’s one of the few presidents that got almost everything right and he understood the proper role of government under the Constitution.’

Vivek Ramaswamy: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was just 33 years old when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, said the entrepreneur.

‘And he invented the swivel chair while he was writing the Declaration of Independence. That’s the founding spirit, the pioneers, the guys on the Lewis and Clark expeditions,’ he said.

America can keep China from invading Taiwan by promising there will be ‘hell to pay’ says Nikki Haley

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said that if she is elected president, China will know there will be ‘hell to pay’ if it crosses the U.S. or its partners.

In addition, supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia will ‘let China know’ they cannot invade its neighboring state.

‘One that we win in Ukraine and protect our friends and let China know that there will be hell to pay if they go into Taiwan,’ she said.

‘They need to know that there’s a force that’s going to go against them. And they need to know it’s not just going to be the United States.’

‘That is why we need to build our partnerships with India, South Korea, Japan, with the Philippines, with Australia, we need to start pulling that alliance together.’

‘We cannot let the United States be like Europe’: Ron DeSantis says continent is ‘committing suicide’ with mass migration and there is more anti-Semitism than when Hitler ruled Germany

‘Look what happened in Europe, you have more anti-Semitism in Germany than any time since Hitler, because they imported mass numbers of people,’ Gov. Ron DeSantis said while answering a question about the threat of illegal immigration.

‘Europe is committing suicide with the mass migration and it’s illegal.’

He then took a shot at Nikki Haley, accusing her of saying that there should be ‘no limits on illegal immigration, and corporate CEOs should set the policy.’

‘That’s not true,’ Haley shot back.

‘And the against that backdrop, we absolutely have the ability to deport anybody in this country who is here illegally,’ continued DeSantis.

‘I did that as governor of South Carolina,’ Haley slipped in before Gov. Chris Christie started his response.

Ron DeSantis vows to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray

DeSantis says he worked with the FBI ‘on the ground in Iraq’ and ‘used to have a high regard’ for these agencies.

he said ‘what they did to Donald Trump’ was ‘one of the biggest abuses of power in the history of our country’.

DeSantis said he would remove FBI Director Christopher Wray and other agencies including the DOJ and IRS also needed to be ‘cleaned out’.

He said: ‘Buckle your seatbelts, there’s a new sheriff in town.’

Men in the Middle East have worn long flowing robes for centuries.

Thobes or dishdashas protect the wearer from the brutal heat of the desert while maintaining modesty.

On Wednesday night, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis called them ‘man dresses,’ mystifying or insulting a swath of the globe at a stroke.

Social media quickly lit up as users poked fun at his casual dismissal of the clothing worn by men in Iraq and much of the Middle East.

The bizarre moment came during the fourth Republican debate when DeSantis, the governor of Florida, was asked about his pledge to send troops to the southern border to shoot anyone crossing the border carrying the deadly drug fentanyl.

DeSantis takes a shot at almost ’80-year-old’ Donald Trump and says someone younger should be president – but refuses to say if he’s ‘unfit’

‘Father time is undefeated,’ Ron DeSantis replied to a question on his campaign’s attack ads on Trump’s age.

‘The idea that we’re going to put someone up there that’s almost 80 and there are going to be no effects from that, we all know that’s not true, and we have an opportunity for a next generation of leaders and we need a president who can serve two terms.’

‘And I don’t think that Donald Trump would get elected and the Democrats want him to be, and they’re going to turn the screws,’ he added.

Trump is currently 77 years old.

But DeSantis refused to answer an interjection from Gov. Chris Christie asking if he thinks Trump is ‘unfit’ to serve.

‘I think we need to have somebody younger,’ DeSantis said, sidestepping Christie’s question.

‘He didn’t fire Dr. Fauci, didn’t fire Christopher Wray.’

Ramaswamy insists the ‘deep state’ is the ‘real enemy’ – not Trump or Biden

Vivek Ramaswamy went on a impassioned tangent during the fourth GOP debate.

He said his ‘issue’ with all three of his colleagues on this debate stage is that they ‘have been licking Donald Trump’s boots for years for money and not endorsements.’

‘Ron Desantis, you were a great governor but wouldn’t have been without begging Donald Trump finish that endorsement,’ he accused.

‘And same thing with Chris Christie as a lobbyist and prepping him for the debates last time around,’ Vivek continued.

He went on to detail who the ‘real enemy’ is.

‘The real enemy not Donald Trump, it’s not Joe Biden, it’s the deep state that at least Donald Trump attempted to take on,’ he stated.

He then said he’s the right person to ‘take power’ because he’s often the person on the stage who can ‘say that January 6th does look like it’s an inside job.’

In addition, he says that the ‘government lied to us for 20 years about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9-1-1, and the Great Replacement Theory is not a right-wing conspiracy theory but a statement of the Democratic party’s platform.’

He went on to say that the 2020 election was ‘indeed stolen by Big Tech.’

‘I’m the only person who can say these things, and not people licking his boots.’

DeSantis blasts ‘burdening’ student loans and says universities should back them, not taxpayers: It’s ‘wrong’ for a truck driver to pay for a student majoring in ‘gender studies’

Gov. Ron DeSantis said that a major issue ‘burdening young people’ are student loans. 

‘I don’t support having a truck driver paying a student loan that got a degree in gender studies. That’s wrong,’ he said.

The governor said he’d address the ‘root cause’ of the problem. 

‘The student loans are going to be backed by the universities,’ he said. ‘Because they need to have an incentive to produce gainful employment for people.’

‘They should not be indulging ideological studies, but focusing on things that work, and we’re going to take some of this money and move it to it vocational training,’ he continued.

‘Don’t let anybody tell us you that the only way to be successful is through a four-year brick and ivy degree. It’s one way, but not the only way, and we’re going to fix that problem in the United States of America.’

Nikki and Ron clash on China – and Haley takes a shot at Trump for being weak on the CCP

The issue of China came up as the GOP candidates discussed issues at the souther border – including Chinese fentanyl being made in Mexican labs and trafficked into the U.S.

Haley said the ‘heart of the matter’ is that fentanyl came from China.

‘That’s why we need to end all trade relationships with China until they stop murdering us with fentanyl,’ she said.

‘This is where Trump went wrong. Trump was good on trade,’ but ‘not with China.’

‘He allowed the Chinese infiltration to buy up farmland, to put money into our universities and continue to do things that were harmful to America. And we now have a spy base in Cuba and police stations, and Trump didn’t do anything about it,’ she continued.

‘This is rich,’ responded DeSantis. ‘When she was the governor of South Carolina, she was the number-one ranked governor of bringing the CCP into her state.’

‘She wrote a love letter to the Chinese ambassador saying how great a friend China was,’ DeSantis accused.

He went on to say her ‘Wall Street’ donors are ‘making money in China.’

‘And they’re not going to let her be tough on China and she will cave to the donors and not stand up for you,’ he added.

A riled up Gov. Christie went after Ramaswamy, calling him ‘the most obnoxious blowhard in America.’

He went on to say ‘shut up for a little while’ and get back to the issues at hand after Vivek went after Nikki Haley.

Christie defended Haley saying although they don’t agree on all issues, ‘What we don’t disagree on is this is a smart, accomplished woman and you should stop insulting her.’

The former governor went on to contrast his years of experience with Vivek’s relative amateur.

He talked about tackling national security and serving as the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey during the 9/11 attacks.

‘I brought the first two cases in this country against terrorists who tried to attack us again. And I know about the threat of terrorism and bullying there is in this country and around the world.’

Christie added: ‘And at that time, [Vivek] was learning about the provinces in Ukraine, sitting with his smarta** mouth at Harvard. That’s what was going on.’

‘And the fact of the matter was back then, he was a Democrat,’ continued Christie.

Vivek interupted his momentum, interjecting: ‘You were too busy hugging Barack Obama.’

‘All he knows how to do is insult good people who have committed their lives to public service and not saying anything that moves the ball down the field for the United States,’ said Christie before the break.

Chris Christie calls Trump a ‘dictator’ and claims rivals talk about him like ‘Lord Voldemort’ by not attacking him

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie finally got a word in, 17 minutes into the debate.

Megyn Kelly asked him about his change in tune about former President Trump.

He accused Trump of ‘not having the guts’ to show up to the fourth Republican debate.

And then likened Trump to famous villian ‘Voldemort – he who shall not be named.’

‘They don’t want to talk about Trump,’ Christie said refering to DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy.

‘They are timid to say anything about Trump,’ because he is a ‘dictator, a bully, who has taken shots at everybody.’

Christie came out guns ablase for Trump, blasting it for taking almost 20 minutes for the former president’s name to get brought up.

‘And for us to go 17 minutes with out discussing the guy who has all of those gaudy numbers you talked about is ridiculous. I’m in the race because the truth needs to be spoken. He is unfit.’

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy questioned Haley’s financial situation.

‘Nikki, you were bankrupt when you left the U.N.,’ he said. Then once you joined the board of Boeing, ‘now you’re a multimillionaire.’

‘The math doesn’t add up, it adds up to you are corrupt,’ he accused holding up a ‘NIKKI = CORRUPT’ sign.

Haley clapped back, saying her family was ‘not bankrupt’ when she left the U.N.

‘We’re people of service, my husband was in the military and I served as ambassador and governor. It may be bankrupt to him but not to us.’

She explained that she served on the board of Boeing but after they decided they wanted to go for a ‘corporate bailout,’ she ‘respectfully stepped back an

Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, at the Moody Music Hall at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

‘I love Boeing, they build commercial planes and for our Air Force and I’m proud of them and that’s why I left the board. There’s nothing to what he’s saying,’

‘And in terms of the donors supporting me, they’re jealous, they wish they were supporting them.’

Ron DeSantis then jumped in, saying Haley is meeting with top corporate donors who ‘want to impose a left-wing agenda on this country.’

‘Nikki will cave to the big donors when it counts,’ he accused.

Haley responded: ‘thank you for all of the attention, fellas, thank you.’

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley looks on as fellow candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy passes by, during a break at the fourth Republican candidates' U.S. presidential debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S. December 6, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis immediately attacked Nikki Haley during his response to Megyn Kelly’s initial question on electability.

DeSantis is trailing Haley in New Hampshire and South Carolina currently.

The governor touted his own military record and results in Florida before taking a swing at Haley.

‘You have other candidates up there like Nikki Haley, she caves any time the left comes after her, any time the media comes after her,’ he accused.

He then referenced his bill in Florida to stop the gender mutilation of minors.

He accused Haley of ‘opposing’ the bill and that she ‘thinks it’s fine and the law shouldn’t get involved with it.’

Haley quickly clapped back responding that Ron ‘continues to lie about my record.’

‘I actually said his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t go far enough because it only talked about gender until the 3rd grade,’ she replied.

On Wednesday morning, published a poll that undercut the argument by Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley that they are more electable than Donald Trump.

In fact, our swing states poll shows that while Trump beats Biden by five points in Arizona, DeSantis can only tie and Haley loses by two points.

In Georgia, Trump beats Biden in a head-to-head contest by two points, but DeSantis loses by six points and Haley loses by one.

Things are different in Wisconsin. There Biden would beat Trump and DeSantis by four points if the 2024 election were held tomorrow, but would lose to Haley by one percentage point.

All the results carry a 4.2 percent margin of error, but show that in at least two of the crucial battlegrounds how Trump is the strongest Republican challenger to Biden.

‘These are good results for the Trump campaign: Trump is the best-placed to beat Biden in both Arizona and Georgia,’ said James Johnson, co-founder of J.L. Partners, which conducted the poll.

‘Haley can take heart from the results in Wisconsin however. While DeSantis and Trump trail Biden, Haley almost pulls Biden to a draw with independents and therefore claims the state by a margin of one point overall.

‘DeSantis looks a little out in the cold in these results: he comes short of mobilizing the GOP base to the extent that Trump does, while not matching Haley’s performance amongst independents either.’

The stage is set for the fourth Republican presidential debate

Megyn Kelly returns as a debate moderator for the crucial night for the candidates in the Republican presidential race.

Four White House hopefuls will take the stage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with just six weeks until the Iowa caucuses.

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are tusseling for second behind the frontrunner Donald Trump.

Chris Christie, who only just qualified for the debate, needs a star performance to jump back into contention.

Vivek Ramaswamy is also looking for another surge in the polls after his combative performance in Miami for the third debate.

Despite Trump playing hooky, GOP voters are watching debates and say they’re important

Nearly two-thirds of potential Republican primary voters said they plan to watch at least part of tonight’s fourth GOP primary debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The latest polling from Morning Consult found that 34 percent of potential GOP voters planned to watch the whole two-hour long show, while another 30 percent said they planned to watch some of it.

Just 25 percent said they wouldn’t tune into the debate at all.

Former President Donald Trump, the far-and-away frontrunner of the Republican pack, is again skipping the event.

So far, Trump’s no-shows haven’t put a dent in his lead, though more than 75 percent of GOP voters stake some importance on the debates.

Only 6 percent said they weren’t important at all.

Three women are moderating the fourth Republican presidential primary debate.

SiriusXM’s Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News, is returning to the GOP debates after he showdown with Trump in the 2016 cycle remains on of the most watched debates in history.

NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas and Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Eliana Johnson are also taking seats behind the moderator desk.

Megyn Kelly posted an image of herself getting her hair and makeup done before the debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

(Politics) 12776319 Exclusive: Fourth Republican primary debate moderator Elizabeth Vargas says she and Megyn Kelly plan to bring the heat in Alabama

Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie qualified to debate for the fourth Republican primary showdown on Wednesday.

NewsNation is hosting the debate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Rumble and are livestreaming the debate from 8:00-10:00 PM ET.

It will also be broadcast on NewsNation, The CW and its affiliates in other time zones.

Stand-ins assume positions of candidates and moderators to check sound and lighting, in advance of a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, at the Moody Music Hall at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Stand-ins assume positions behind the debate podiums in preparations for the fourth Republican presidential primary debate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday afternoon

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