Republican presidential candidates jumped quickly to make an impression from the start of the second debate Wednesday night in Simi Valley, Calif. It started less than an hour after the 2024 front-runner headlined an event in Michigan.
Seven candidates, all polling well behind former President Trump, met the Republican National Committee criteria to participate: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Trump, meanwhile, again did not join the debate. Instead, he headlined an event of autoworkers near Detroit, amid the ongoing United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.
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