Trump was booked into the Fulton County Jail

First Republic Debate 2023

CNN asked its political contributors to weigh in on the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 season.

SE Cup: Nikki Haley promised and delivered a generational change

On February 14, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her presidential candidacy with a tweet saying, “It’s time for a new generation.” For many conservatives, especially those seeking to put former President Donald Trump and Trumpism behind us, this was puzzling. But it remains to be seen how it will actually look and sound: What will the 51-year-old hopeful bring to a race that’s been generationally new? On Wednesday night, on more than one issue, Haley made a significant break with the old guard. On abortion, the most important issue for millennials and Gen Z voters, he defended his personal anti-abortion stance but acknowledged what many Republicans have not: The math to ban the practice at the federal level doesn’t exist. .

He called for consensus, which has become a buzzword in Trump’s new Republican Party, and wondered why we can’t agree to ban late-term abortions, ensure access to contraceptives, and imprison or kill women who have abortions. His calls to humanize the issue were a far cry from the more punitive, regressive and draconian policies being pushed by other Republicans across the country.

In terms of climate, another important issue for the younger generation, it found a middle ground. Trump at the same time acknowledged that climate change is real He called it a hoax. He stressed the importance of clean air and water. But he has dismissed some of President Joe Biden’s climate policies as counterproductive to the United States and beneficial to China.

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In addition, he had some terrific rebuttals against a very angry Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, and an even more angry Vivek Ramasamy. She may be younger than Biden and Trump, but she’s tough, too. However, Haley’s efforts to stay beyond childish insults by strategically inserting herself and showing that she is, in fact, more modern in approach than the rest of the party, make her the winner of the first debate.

SE Cupp is a political commentator for CNN.

David Axelrod: The biggest winner of the night was not on stage

And the winner is … the man who wasn’t there.

For months, former President Donald Trump has been the subject of a guessing game about whether to attend the first Republican presidential debate. was He practiced diligently By the President of the Republican Party. He attended a dinner with Fox News executives in Bedminster. Some of his enemies taunted him, hoping to induce him to attend.

But in the end, with a Almost 40 points advantage In the polls, Trump knew that a divided field favored his dominance. So he opted for his own audience and a solo recording with Tucker Carlson, a mildly conservative commentator. It was like that.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old tech entrepreneur who cast himself as an anti-establishment populist and culture warrior in Trump’s image, faced off against former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and ex-South. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Pence, who is unexpectedly feuding with Haley over abortion, drew loud cheers from the Christie crowd when he called Trump to account for four separate impeachment charges against the former president.

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Haley and Pence had strong nights. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who once threatened Trump’s lead before slipping to a distant second, was in need of a reset. He barely made it. Although DeSantis was armed with strong and well-rehearsed comments on crime, the border and a handful of other issues, he wavered uncomfortably on January 6 about Pence’s role and his position on abortion.

David Axelrod, CNN’s senior political commentator and host of “The Ax Files,” was a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist for Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.

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Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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