Seven republican candidates face off in primary debate, Trump did not attend

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 1:23 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Seven republican candidates took the stage for the second primary debate.

There were intense moments between Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, also several digs were taken at former president Donald Trump who hasn’t attended either of the two primary debates.

Even still, Trump has a massive lead in the polls and has been quoted saying, “I don’t need to waste time on the debate stage.”

This did not stop the attending candidates from making their presence known on the stage. Haley pointing her criticism to Ramaswamy.

“Honestly, every time I hear you talk I feel a little dumber for what you say,” said Haley. “What we’ve seen is you help China build medicines not America - you now want kids to get on this social media that’s dangerous for all of us. You were in business with the Chinese that gave Hunter Biden $5 million dollars – we can’t trust you.”

This intense moment between the two was one of many. Haley polling at 6% and Ramaswamy polling at 5% according to Real Politics. Florida governor Ron Desantis also took some digs, mostly at the current administration.

“The people in Washington are shutting down the American dream with their reckless behavior,” said Desantis. “They borrowed, they spent – now you’re paying more for everything. They are the reason for that.”

The candidates furthered the discussion with their thoughts on border security, the war in Ukraine and what’s needed to keep the government open past the November 17th extension date.

Former president Donald Trump was in Michigan, during the debate -  defending his policies.

“I put everything on the line to fight for you,” said Trump. “I’ve risked it all to defend the working class from the corrupt political class that has spent decades sucking the life, wealth and blood out of this country.”

The next debate is set for November 9th in Miami. The former president has already confirmed he will not be in attendance.