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First Republican presidential primary debate to be held in August

New York Post logo: MainLogo New York Post 2/23/2023 Josh Christenson

The Republican National Committee will hold the first of its presidential primary debates in August in Milwaukee, as the GOP awaits a handful of candidates who have yet to announce their runs.

The RNC voted on Thursday to host the debate in Wisconsin, where the 2024 Republican National Convention will also be held, a spokesperson confirmed to The Post.

No other debates have been scheduled, and the final criteria for participants have not been decided.

The announcement comes as only two Republicans to hold office have announced their candidacies: former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) are expected to join the race in the next few months. Each has remained quiet about their presidential ambitions, with Pence most recently telling a reporter, “I’ll keep you posted.”

Pence took a swipe at his former boss on Wednesday when he told CNBC in an interview that there were “better choices” than Trump on the table for the upcoming election.

© Provided by New York Post Former President Donald Trump announced his plans to run in 2022. Matt Freed/AP

“Our candidates that were focused on the past, particularly on relitigating the last election, did not do well, including in areas that we should have done very well,” Pence said, apparently referencing many Trump-backed candidates who failed in the 2022 midterms.

Haley also took a swing at the former president when announcing her 2024 run last week on Twitter.

see also © Provided by New York Post 2024 presidential election DeSantis leads Trump by 5 points among Michigan primary voters — but GOP women still favor ex-prez: poll

“You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” she said in a video that launched her campaign.

Pompeo told CBS News in January that he would decide whether to run in the “next couple of months” and that Trump’s decision to run again has no influence on his decision.

DeSantis, who has yet to announce his candidacy, is the only 2024 contender to edge out Trump in the polls, leading the former president by 5 points this week in a survey from the battleground state of Michigan.

GOP megadonors are also flocking to the Florida governor’s campaign, donating millions of dollars to the potential 2024 frontrunner.

RNC members are weighing a loyalty pledge from each candidate that would require them to back the eventual nominee, according to the New York Times.

© Provided by New York Post Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her plans to run for president earlier this month.Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette/AP

Entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy, who made waves with his 2021 book “Woke, Inc.” and Steve Laffey, former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, have also thrown their hats in the ring for the presidency.

Advisers close to President Biden have voiced concerns that he may not run again, despite multiple statements he has made to the contrary.


New York Post

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