Second Republican presidential debate LIVE: Donald Trump skips again as seven candidates line up for crucial California showdown


2024 hopeful Chris Christie gets on the Taylor Swift bandwagon

Republican candidate Chris Christie will be looking for a strong performance in California this evening.

Earlier on Wednesday during his final preparations, he tried to take advantage of the social media frenzy over Taylor Swift’s appearance at a Kansas City Chiefs game, to watch rumored beau Travis Kelce.

Biden attends fundraiser at a billionaire’s home in San Francisco – while potential Republican opponents face off outside of Los Angeles

President Joe Biden is spending Wednesday night focused on the 2024 campaign, and chasing money.

Just before candidates were set to take the stage in Simi Valley, Biden was hauling in campaign cash at the home of billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor in San Francisco.

Steyer shared a debate stage with Biden during the presidential primaries in the 2020 election.

He also rented Biden his $15 million Lake Tahoe vacation home this summer. Steyer told the 20 well-heeled guests Wednesday that Biden was doing a ‘spectacular job.’

In his own remarks, Biden blasted House Republicans and said Speaker Kevin McCarthy is ‘making a choice between the speakership and American interest’ in the budget battles.

Nikki Haley enters the second debate as a rising star – after poll revealed she is beating Biden by 19 points among independents

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will be one of the candidates to watch when she takes the stage this evening.

She has seen a jump in the polls in recent weeks, and is in second place in some surveys in New Hampshire.

A poll has her beating Joe Biden by 19 votes among independent voters.

If he wants to win in 2024, Biden will need independents on his side.

Dueling pro- and anti-Trump protesters welcome the ex-President to Detroit

Across the country from the debate in Michigan, Trump is being welcomed by a drum-line.

But there are dueling pro- and anti- Trump protests happening as the ex-President heads there to speak with auto union workers in the midst of negotiations.

A plane is flying above the speech location with a banner reading, ‘Trump Sold Us Out,’ while cars are honking as they drive by protesters.

Trump’s remarks are at Drake Enterprises, a non-union facility in a Detroit suburb.

People hold a banner featuring former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in Clinton Township, Michigan. U.S., September 27, 2023.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

What happened at the first Republican presidential debate: Vivek Ramaswamy dominated – and Ron DeSantis avoided attacks

He beat Ron DeSantis – who mostly avoided any tustles with his opponents – by the narrowist of margins.

Entrepreneur Ramaswamy put up a combative performance, trading blows with opponents such as former Vice President Mike Pence who seemed intent on cutting him down to size.

It made him the focal point for much of the debate.

What to expect at the second Republican presidential debate

Read’s guide to the Republican debate, with just under three hours until the seven candidates take the stage at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Donald Trump is skipping the event again, and will speak in Michigan at 8pm (Eastern Time) to an auto parts manufacturing plant.

Trump is still the frontrunner in the Republican polls. Its a decisive night for his rivals trying to put a stamp on the race for the White House.

Pro-Trump protesters line-up outside the second GOP debate site in California

Protesters started lining-up down the hill from the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on Tuesday evening as seven GOP candidates prepare for the second debate.

Trump supporters gather near the entrance to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on September 27, 223, ahead of the second GOP debate here which the former President will not attend. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

The demonstrators on Tuesday were protesting the Republican debate in general.

But those that joined on the street down the hill from the library on Wednesday morning were pro-Trump protesters – even though Trump is skipping out on the second debate.

The signs included images of Trump’s migshot with phrases like: ‘Wanted for President 2024’ and ‘Never Surrender’

Trump supporters gather near the entrance to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on September 27, 223, ahead of the second GOP debate here which the former President will not attend. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Doug Burgum compares himself to Reagan ahead of debate at late-President’s Library

South Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is painting himself as similar to late President Ronald Reagan as he and six other candidates prepare to debate on a stage at the conservative idol’s Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

‘Ronald Reagan’s legacy is a reminder that big things come from small towns and humble beginnings,’ said Burgum, who is from a North Dakota town with a population of just 328.

‘A reminder it doesn’t matter where you come from; what matters is your character, your dedication to service and your commitment to overcoming tough challenges,’ the 2024 hopeful wrote.

He added in the three-part Twitter post: ’40 years ago, America took a chance on a small-town kid from Tampico, Illinois. Today, I’m asking America to place their trust in me — a small-town kid from Arthur, North Dakota. Let’s saddle up and get to work!’

Candidates prepare to take-stage by getting active and listening to music

Sen. Tim Scott’s pre-debate preparations could include him going to the gym or playing a few games of pickleball, his campaign told

The South Carolina Republican will also pray and spend time with his family. Scott is known for, at times, taking his mother on the campaign trail with him.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is preparing for the debate by listening to some Bruce Springsteen pump-up songs.

“Once he’s on the stage, the strategy is simple: listen to the questions, answer them directly, and call out dishonesty when he sees it,” a campaign spokesperson shared with

Democrats attack Trump as he skips second GOP debate for remarks in Michigan

Donald Trump is skipping the second debate – after already not going to the first – to speak with auto workers i n Michigan at 8pm.

The Democratic Party is taking aim at the ex-President’s trip with a new ad.

‘He says he stands with auto workers, but as President Donald Trump passed tax breaks for his rich friends while automakers shuttered their plants – and Michigan lost manufacturing jobs,’ the ad reads.

President Joe Biden visited Michigan on Tuesday to make history as the first president to join the picket line with protesting workers. The trip came just the day before Trump is also heading to the Detroit area to speak to auto workers amid negotiations for higher wages and shorter work weeks.

‘Joe Biden said he’d stand up for workers, and he’s delivering – passing laws that are increasing wages, and creating good-paying jobs,’ the Democrat’s ad notes. ‘Manufacturing is coming back to Michigan because Joe Biden doesn’t just talk, he delivers.’

Deep blue California is the site for the second Republican debate of the 2024 primary.

Kicking-off at 9:00 p.m. ET, seven candidates are taking stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California for a second chance to boost their polling against far frontrunner Donald Trump – who is skipping the debate.

Those on stage will be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ; biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott; former Vice President Mike Pence; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

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