Some of the top moments from the third Republican debate in Miami:

Highlights from the third GOP debate in Miami include five key moments.

Some of the top moments from the third Republican debate in Miami: Highlights from the third GOP debate in Miami include five key moments.

12th debate of the primary season.

Five potential Republican candidates for president met in Miami on Wednesday for the 12th debate of the primary race.

The third debate in the primary election process.

During the event, the candidates primarily directed their criticisms towards one another, while largely sidestepping any mention of former President Donald Trump, who was considered the leading candidate.

The stage was not as full as it was during the previous two debates, but the interactions between the candidates remained unchanged. Throughout the questioning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy directed their criticisms at one another, while former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Tim Scott struggled to have their voices heard.

Trump, meanwhile, was

organizing a gathering in the nearby city of Hialeah

Once more, he has decided to not participate in the debate. He has not taken part in any of the three debates thus far, and his current advantage in the polls provides little motivation for him to alter his course.

A recent survey conducted by CBS News revealed that Trump received 61% of the votes from potential Republican primary voters across the country, surpassing the combined total of all other candidates. DeSantis had a polling score of 18%, followed by Haley at 9%, Ramaswamy at 5%, Scott at 4%, and Christie at 2%.

Here are five important highlights from the Republican debate in Miami on Wednesday evening:

The GOP’s recent election defeats prompt reactions from candidates: “We are now the party of losers.”

Republican presidential candidate businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a debate hosted by NBC News on Nov. 8, 2023, in Miami.

During a debate hosted by NBC News on November 8, 2023 in Miami, businessman and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy spoke while being listened to by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Each candidate was individually asked a slightly different version of the same question: Why should voters choose them over Trump? Some cited the underwhelming results of Republican elections in Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky on Tuesday.

DeSantis, when presented with the opportunity to distinguish himself from Trump, stated that Donald Trump has evolved since 2016.

The governor of Florida stated that Trump should clarify the reasons for the increase in national debt, his failure to eliminate corruption in Washington D.C., and the absence of payment from Mexico for a border wall. DeSantis also referenced the unsatisfactory election outcomes for Republicans on Tuesday evening.

DeSantis stated, “Trump predicted that Republicans would tire of winning. However, based on last night’s results, I am tired of seeing Republicans lose.”

According to Ramaswamy, there is a deeper issue within the Republican Party. He directed his criticism towards Ronna McDaniel, the chairperson of the RNC, and the established members of the Republican party.

“I am disappointed with the events that unfolded last night. Our party has been reduced to a group of unsuccessful individuals, by the end of the day,” stated Ramaswamy. “We experienced a crushing defeat in the 2023 election and I believe it is important for our party to take responsibility.”

Ramaswamy criticizes Haley’s stance on supporting Israel by asking if she wants someone like Dick Cheney, but in high heels.

Ramaswamy, who supports a restrained approach to U.S. aid for Israel, criticized his opponents, particularly Haley, for America’s involvement in overseas conflicts.

“Would you prefer a leader from a different era who prioritizes the country, or would you rather have someone like Dick Cheney in high heels?” Ramaswamy responded when asked about his advice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the midst of the nation’s conflict with Hamas. He also quipped, “In that case, we have two of them on stage tonight,” possibly referring to DeSantis and the recent rumors surrounding his choice of footwear.

Ramaswamy stated that it is the duty of Israel to protect itself, whereas other contenders pledged to provide assistance to Israel. Haley expressed her intention to advise Netanyahu to take decisive action against Hamas and emphasized the importance of the U.S.’s relationship with Israel.

Ramaswamy stated that Israel has both the obligation and authority to protect itself. He also mentioned that he would advise them to eliminate any terrorists near their southern border. Furthermore, as the President of the United States, he promised to take action against terrorists near the US’s southern border.

Haley later replied to the comment about her shoes, stating, “They are five-inch heels, and I only wear them if I can run in them.”

The topic of strengthening the US Navy to discourage China is being debated by potential candidates.

When moderator Hugh Hewitt posed the question of whether the U.S. Navy is sufficiently large to prevent China from attacking Taiwan or defeating them in a conflict, only a small number of candidates provided a definite response.

DeSantis pledged to prevent China from attacking Taiwan by increasing the size of the U.S. Navy to 355 ships by the end of his first term and 385 ships by the end of his second term, with a target of 600 ships in the next 20 years.

Haley stated that the military should be updated, but did not provide many details.

Ramaswamy stated that there would be a growth of 20% in our naval capacity within the span of several years.

Christie told Hewitt that he noticed a lack of responses to his question. He then stated that nuclear submarines are the most effective means of deterring Chinese aggression and that his main focus would be on expanding the program. He explained that increasing American naval power would involve prioritizing the development of nuclear submarines, which have the advantage of being able to operate discreetly and efficiently.

Haley calls Ramaswamy “scum” after attack over her daughter

The ongoing conflict between Haley and Ramaswamy reached a breaking point when Ramaswamy confronted Haley about her daughter’s previous use of TikTok. The U.S. government has significant security concerns regarding the app due to its connections to China, and Haley has expressed intentions to prohibit its use.

Ramaswamy jokingly points out that Nikki Haley avoided answering a question about confronting families directly. In a previous debate, she mocked Ramaswamy for using TikTok, but her own daughter has been using the app for a while. Perhaps she should focus on her own family before criticizing others.

Haley responded with visible anger, “Don’t involve my daughter in your conversation.”

Ramaswamy explained that the current generation of Americans is actively utilizing this technology, which is the main objective.

Haley called Ramaswamy a disgrace.

Haley suggests that the nation should refrain from criticizing each other for differing opinions on abortion.

The moderators posed questions to the candidates regarding their response to the outcome of the Ohio election, where the right to an abortion was established in the state’s constitution. The candidates were also prompted to specify their stance on federal limitations for the procedure should they become president.

The reactions they gave demonstrate the ongoing discussion within the Republican Party regarding the next steps to take with regards to abortion after the Supreme Court’s ruling last year that reversed Roe v. Wade and gave control of the issue back to individual states. Since then, voters in various states have opposed attempts by the GOP to limit access to abortion, most recently in Ohio.

Haley, who holds a more complex stance on abortion compared to her fellow Republicans, stated that this is a “matter that is individual to each woman and each man.”

Haley stated that she is against abortion due to her husband’s experience with adoption and her own difficulties in conceiving and raising her two children.

She stated, “Although I personally support the pro-life stance, I do not condemn those who are pro-choice.”

Certain states are adopting measures in favor of abortion, but according to her, the ultimate decision rests with the people. She then attempted to communicate honestly with the American public, acknowledging that a nationwide ban or limitations on abortion would be extremely difficult to achieve due to political challenges.

According to Haley, in order for a ban on abortions to be implemented, it would require a total of 60 votes in the Senate, a majority vote in the House, and approval from the president. She also stated that neither a Republican nor a Democratic president has the power to unilaterally ban abortions or override state laws on the matter.

Haley suggested that instead of focusing on banning late-term abortions, Republicans should prioritize providing access to contraception and supporting mothers.

She urged for an end to the judgment, stating that America does not need to be further divided over this matter.

Scott stated that the United States should implement a nationwide prohibition on abortions after the 15th week. Haley highlighted that he had previously been hesitant to adopt this stance.

DeSantis avoided addressing a direct federal restriction on the number of weeks, stating that Democrats refuse to determine the point in fetal development when abortions should be prohibited.

Christie stated his approval of states having the ability to determine their own stance on abortion.

Governor Christie expressed his belief that the decision should be left to the individual states and that he has faith in the people of this nation to make their own choices.

According to Christie, the primary concern is that Republicans do not support the idea of being pro-life throughout all stages of life. He emphasized the importance of also considering drug-addicted teenagers and elderly individuals in this matter.

According to Ramaswamy, men should take on greater “sexual responsibility” in discussions about abortion.