5 Republicans take the stage in Miami, while Trump holds a rally nearby. Follow live updates

Politics

A billboard announcing the third Republican presidential debate in Miami is shown, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in downtown Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Five candidates will take the stage at a whittled-down third Republican presidential debate in Miami as front-runner Donald Trump holds his own event a short drive away.

What to watch during the Republican debate

How to tune in for the third GOP presidential debate

Trump looks to upstage the debate with a rally targeting South Florida’s Cuban community

Debate will focus on Israel and foreign policy — and who can beat Trump

Candidates used their party’s poor performance in Tuesday’s elections as a punching bag at the start of the debate.

“We’ve become a party of losers,” Ramaswamy said.

“I’m sick of Republicans losing,” DeSantis said.

For each of them, it was a chance to pitch himself as the antidote to what ails Republicans. Ramaswamy promised to take on the establishment, while DeSantis bragged about his electoral record in Florida.

The third Republican presidential candidate debate is officially underway in Miami.

It’s expected that candidates will be asked about a variety of topics, including abortion and the ongoing war in Israel following Hamas’ surprise attack last month.

Five candidates met the Republican National Committee’s qualifications to participate in the third matchup: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

As he has with previous debates, former President Donald Trump is skipping Wednesday night’s matchup, instead holding his own event a short drive away.

Wednesday night’s debate comes just one day after the 2023 off-year elections, in which Democrats notched a number of wins the party hopes might portend possible successes in other contests next year.

Thousands have gathered to show support for former President Donald Trump at a rally in the Miami suburb of Hialeah.

Trump was joined by mixed martial arts fighter Jorge Masvidal and comedian Roseanne Barr, who led the crowd in a profane chant and called him a “MAGA-dor,” playing off his “Make America Great Again” slogan.

People showed up in red, white and blue clothes with MAGA hats and Trump 2024 flags. Some also carried the flag of Israel.

Dozens of supporters lined up earlier to get a copy of Trump’s photobook “Our Journey Together” signed by the former president’s son Donald Trump Jr.

Some speakers addressed the crowd in Spanish and English.

“I go to all Trump events,” said Paul Rodriguez, a Cuban American voter who wore a T-shirt bearing Trump’s mug shot. “I hope common sense returns to America. Donald Trump speaks for us, while Democrats do it for corporations and other countries.”

He won’t be onstage with his GOP rivals, but Donald Trump is getting some good debate night news.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to bar Trump from the 2024 primary ballot under a constitutional provision that forbids those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office.

The ruling is the first to come in a series of lawsuits filed by liberal groups seeking to use Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to block the GOP front-runner’s candidacy by citing his role in the violent Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Democrats are once again trolling the Republican candidates ahead of their debate.

The Democratic National Committee placed bilingual ads on billboards across South Florida and hired a mobile billboard truck to, in their words “call out their extreme MAGA agendas.”

The truck will be driving around the Republican National Committee debate venue, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, on Wednesday night.

The Spanish- and English-language ads cast former President Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner, as an extremist and a liar.

Trump will be holding his own event in nearby Hialeah.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas war is sure to feature in discussion during Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate, and Sen. Tim Scott is bringing with him some students who might be particularly interested.

Scott’s campaign says the South Carolina Republican is hosting more than 20 Jewish students from the University of South Carolina, University of Miami and a local South Florida high school at the debate.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is one of the partners for Miami’s debate. Scott was among the GOP contenders who addressed the coalition’s leadership summit in Las Vegas.

Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are taking part in the Wednesday night event.


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