RNC announces candidates who will participate in 3rd GOP presidential primary debate

News & Politics

The Republican National Committee announced that five GOP presidential candidates will participate in the third Republican presidential primary debate, which is scheduled for Wednesday night in Miami, Florida.

The five candidates slated to appear on stage include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and author and entreprenuer Vivek Ramaswamy.

Conspicuously absent from the list is former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the GOP nominating contest according to polls. Trump, who had previously opted to skip the first two GOP presidential primary debates, is scheduled to hold a rally in Hialeah, Florida, on Wednesday.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who had participated in the second GOP presidential primary debate, dropped out of the primary late last month. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who was also on the debate stage in September, remains in the race but will not be in the third debate.

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Candidates were required to meet polling and fundraising thresholds in order to be eligible to participate in the debate.

“We are looking forward to our third debate in Miami, a welcome opportunity for our candidates to showcase our winning conservative agenda to the American people. We are especially honored to be the first political party to partner with a Jewish organization for a debate in our partnership with the Republican Jewish Coalition, and our candidates will reaffirm the Republican Party’s unwavering support of Israel and the Jewish community on the stage Wednesday night,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, according to a press release.

“The NBC News Republican Primary Debate with partners Salem Radio Network, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Rumble will air at 8 p.m. ET on NBC News and will be livestreamed on Rumble,” the RNC press release notes.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsed DeSantis on Monday. “We need someone who won’t get distracted but will stay disciplined, who puts this country first and not himself,” Reynolds said at a DeSantis rally. “That leader is Ron DeSantis.”

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as White House press secretary during a portion of Trump’s White House tenure, has endorsed Trump.

“It’s not a question between right versus left anymore. It’s normal versus crazy, and President Biden and the left are doubling down on crazy,” Sanders said in a statement, according to reports. “The time has come to return to the normal policies of the Trump era which created a safer, stronger, and more prosperous America, and that’s why I am proud to endorse Donald Trump for President.”

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