2024 GOP Debate Recap: Trump Insults, Barbs And More

Zinger Key Points
  • The first primary debate among Republican presidential hopefuls was held Wednesday night.
  • A look at who got the most speaking time and the topics most discussed.

The first 2024 Republican primary debate was held Wednesday night. The event showcased eight candidates competing for the 2024 GOP nomination, and the party's leading contender was conspicuously absent.

Here’s a recap of the performance of how the candidates fared, who took center stage in the discussion, and the primary topics addressed.

The Eight Presidential Candidates: The first debate among the Republicans running for the Oval Office aired on Fox News, a unit of Fox Corporation FOXFOXA and was livestreamed on Rumble Inc RUM.

Republican frontrunner and former President Donald Trump opted not to appear at the debate. Instead, Trump recorded a video with former Fox host Tucker Carlson that was released on Twitter, now known as X, five minutes before the start of the debate.

The video interview of Carlson and Trump generated over 70 million views in its first hour of release and has over 222 million views at the time of writing.

While Trump may have been the big winner in terms of views and reach on Wednesday night, several media outlets tracked the speaking duration of each candidate during the debate.

According to the New York Times, the eight candidates had the following speaking time:

  • Mike Pence: 12:37
  • Vivek Ramaswamy: 11:47
  • Chris Christie: 11:22
  • Ron DeSantis: 10:22
  • Nikki Haley: 8:41
  • Tim Scott: 8:15
  • Doug Burgum: 8:00
  • Asa Hutchinson: 7:33

Even though Trump wasn't present at the debate, he was one of the most frequently targeted individuals by the onstage candidates. According to the report, the most attacked candidates Wednesday night were:

  • Joe Biden: 14
  • Donald Trump: 6
  • Vivek Ramaswamy: 6
  • Nikki Haley: 2
  • Mike Pence: 2
  • Ron DeSantis: 1
  • Tim Scott: 1
  • Chris Christie: 1

Related Link: With Trump Out Of First Republican Debate, Republican Voters Expect These 2 Candidates To Shine 

Debate Topics: Before the inaugural Republican primary debate, Benzinga shared a Morning Consult poll indicating the topics GOP voters were most eager to hear discussed.

The topics voters wanted to hear the most about at the first debate were:

  • 1. Economy
  • 2. Government spending and taxes
  • 3. Immigration
  • 4. Crime
  • 5. Social Security and Medicare

According to the report from the New York Times, the most prominent subjects covered in the first debate were:

  • 1. Abortion: 7:54
  • 2. Donald Trump: 6:50
  • 3. Presidential Credentials: 6:27
  • 4. Education: 5:42
  • 5. Border Security: 5:32

On the topics voters hoped to hear, the presidential candidates offered little to no dialogue. Only immigration ranked in the top five both in the poll's requested topics and in the actual discussion based on time allocated.

Despite Trump not being at the debate, he was the second-most talked about topic based on time.

Another topic that wasn’t discussed at the first debate was cryptocurrency, with many voters wanting to hear more about where candidates stand on Bitcoin BTC/USD and CBDCs.

What’s Next: Fox and Rumble also landed rights to the second Republican primary debate set for Sept. 27, with Fox choosing to air the next event on its Fox Business channel.

Trump hasn't explicitly stated whether he'll attend the upcoming debate.

Read Next: GOP Presidential Candidates Trade Insults At Each Other In First Republican Debate: 5 Key Takeaways 

Photo: Shutterstock and Gage Skidmore on flickr

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Posted In: PoliticsSmall CapGeneral2024 election2024 Presidential ElectionAsa HutchinsonChris ChristieDonald TrumpDoug BurgumimmigrationMike PenceNikki HaleyRepublican DebateRon DeSantisTim ScottVivek Ramaswamy
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