Fourth Republican debate LIVE: Haley, DeSantis, Christie and Ramaswamy

Fourth Republican debate LIVE: Chris Christie calls Trump a ‘dictator’ and mocks candidates for treating him like ‘Voldemort’ and not attacking him

The fourth Republican presidential primary debate is hosted by NewsNation at the University of Alabama. 

Qualifiers are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

Former President Donald Trump is again skipping out on the showdown. 

Follow along for’s live coverage of the latest Republican primary debate.  

Nikki and Ron clash on China – and Haley takes a shot at Trump for being weak on the CCP

The issue of China came up as the GOP candidates discussed issues at the souther border – including Chinese fentanyl being made in Mexican labs and trafficked into the U.S.

Haley said the ‘heart of the matter’ is that fentanyl came from China.

‘That’s why we need to end all trade relationships with China until they stop murdering us with fentanyl,’ she said.

‘This is where Trump went wrong. Trump was good on trade,’ but ‘not with China.’

‘He allowed the Chinese infiltration to buy up farmland, to put money into our universities and continue to do things that were harmful to America. And we now have a spy base in Cuba and police stations, and Trump didn’t do anything about it,’ she continued.

‘This is rich,’ responded DeSantis. ‘When she was the governor of South Carolina, she was the number-one ranked governor of bringing the CCP into her state.’

‘She wrote a love letter to the Chinese ambassador saying how great a friend China was,’ DeSantis accused.

He went on to say her ‘Wall Street’ donors are ‘making money in China.’

‘And they’re not going to let her be tough on China and she will cave to the donors and not stand up for you,’ he added.

Vivek Ramaswamy is the 'the most obnoxious blowhard in America' slams a riled up Chris Christie

A riled up Gov. Christie went after Ramaswamy, calling him ‘the most obnoxious blowhard in America.’

He went on to say ‘shut up for a little while’ and get back to the issues at hand.

Christie explained his years of experience taking on national security and serving as the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey during the 9/11 attacks.

‘I brought the first two cases in this country against terrorists who tried to attack us again. And I know about the threat of terrorism and bullying there is in this country and around the world.’

Christie added: ‘And at that time, [Vivek] was learning about the provinces in Ukraine, sitting with his smartass mouth at Harvard. That’s what was going on.’

‘And the fact of the matter was back then, he was a Democrat,’ continued Christie.

Vivek interupted his momentum, interjecting: ‘You were too busy hugging Barack Obama.’

‘All he knows how to do is insult good people who have committed their lives to public service and not saying anything that moves the ball down the field for the United States,’ said Christie before the break.

Chris Christie calls Trump a 'dictator' and claims rivals talk about him like 'Lord Voldemort' by not attacking him

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie finally got a word in, 17 minutes into the debate.

Megyn Kelly asked him about his change in tune about former President Trump.

He accused Trump of ‘not having the guts’ to show up to the fourth Republican debate.

And then likened Trump to famous villian ‘Voldemort – he who shall not be named.’

‘They don’t want to talk about Trump,’ Christie said refering to DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy.

‘They are timid to say anything about Trump,’ because he is a ‘dictator, a bully, who has taken shots at everybody.’

Christie came out guns ablase for Trump, blasting it for taking almost 20 minutes for the former president’s name to get brought up.

‘And for us to go 17 minutes with out discussing the guy who has all of those gaudy numbers you talked about is ridiculous. I’m in the race because the truth needs to be spoken. He is unfit.’

Nikki Haley defends her connection to Boeing after Vivek Ramaswamy accuses her of being 'corrupt'

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy questioned Haley’s financial situation.

‘Nikki, you were bankrupt when you left the U.N.,’ he said. Then once you joined the board of Boeing, ‘now you’re a multimillionaire.’

‘The math doesn’t add up, it adds up to you are corrupt,’ he accused.

Haley clapped back, saying her family was ‘not bankrupt’ when she left the U.N.

‘We’re people of service, my husband was in the military and I served as ambassador and governor. It may be bankrupt to him but not to us.’

She explained that she served on the board of Boeing but after they decided they wanted to go for a ‘corporate bailout,’ she ‘respectfully stepped back and got off the board.’

‘I love Boeing, they build commercial planes and for our Air Force and I’m proud of them and that’s why I left the board. There’s nothing to what he’s saying,’

‘And in terms of the donors supporting me, they’re jealous, they wish they were supporting them.’

Ron DeSantis then jumped in, saying Haley is meeting with top corporate donors who ‘want to impose a left-wing agenda on this country.’

‘Nikki will cave to the big donors when it counts,’ he accused.

Haley responded: ‘thank you for all of the attention, fellas, thank you.’

Ron DeSantis comes out swinging against Nikki Haley

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis immediately attacked Nikki Haley during his response to Megyn Kelly’s initial question on electability.

DeSantis is trailing Haley in New Hampshire and South Carolina currently.

The governor touted his own military record and results in Florida before taking a swing at Haley.

‘You have other candidates up there like Nikki Haley, she caves any time the left comes after her, any time the media comes after her,’ he accused.

He then referenced his bill in Florida to stop the gender mutilation of minors.

He accused Haley of ‘opposing’ the bill and that she ‘thinks it’s fine and the law shouldn’t get involved with it.’

Haley quickly clapped back responding that Ron ‘continues to lie about my record.’

‘I actually said his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t go far enough because it only talked about gender until the 3rd grade,’ she replied. poll finds Trump is better placed to beat Biden than Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley in swing states

On Wednesday morning, published a poll that undercut the argument by Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley that they are more electable than Donald Trump.

In fact, our swing states poll shows that while Trump beats Biden by five points in Arizona, DeSantis can only tie and Haley loses by two points.

In Georgia, Trump beats Biden in a head-to-head contest by two points, but DeSantis loses by six points and Haley loses by one.

Things are different in Wisconsin. There Biden would beat Trump and DeSantis by four points if the 2024 election were held tomorrow, but would lose to Haley by one percentage point.

All the results carry a 4.2 percent margin of error, but show that in at least two of the crucial battlegrounds how Trump is the strongest Republican challenger to Biden.

‘These are good results for the Trump campaign: Trump is the best-placed to beat Biden in both Arizona and Georgia,’ said James Johnson, co-founder of J.L. Partners, which conducted the poll.

‘Haley can take heart from the results in Wisconsin however. While DeSantis and Trump trail Biden, Haley almost pulls Biden to a draw with independents and therefore claims the state by a margin of one point overall.

‘DeSantis looks a little out in the cold in these results: he comes short of mobilizing the GOP base to the extent that Trump does, while not matching Haley’s performance amongst independents either.’

The stage is set for the fourth Republican presidential debate

Megyn Kelly returns as a debate moderator for the crucial night for the candidates in the Republican presidential race.

Four White House hopefuls will take the stage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with just six weeks until the Iowa caucuses.

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are tusseling for second behind the frontrunner Donald Trump.

Chris Christie, who only just qualified for the debate, needs a star performance to jump back into contention.

Vivek Ramaswamy is also looking for another surge in the polls after his combative performance in Miami for the third debate.

Despite Trump playing hooky, GOP voters are watching debates and say they're important

Nearly two-thirds of potential Republican primary voters said they plan to watch at least part of tonight’s fourth GOP primary debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The latest polling from Morning Consult found that 34 percent of potential GOP voters planned to watch the whole two-hour long show, while another 30 percent said they planned to watch some of it.

Just 25 percent said they wouldn’t tune into the debate at all.

Former President Donald Trump, the far-and-away frontrunner of the Republican pack, is again skipping the event.

So far, Trump’s no-shows haven’t put a dent in his lead, though more than 75 percent of GOP voters stake some importance on the debates.

Forty percent of those polled by Morning Consult said the debates were very important while another 36 percent said they were somewhat important.

Only 6 percent said they weren’t important at all.

Candidates will face trio of female moderators with Megyn Kelly returning to the debate desk

Three women are moderating the fourth Republican presidential primary debate.

SiriusXM’s Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News, is returning to the GOP debates after he showdown with Trump in the 2016 cycle remains on of the most watched debates in history.

NewsNation’s Elizabeth Vargas and Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Eliana Johnson are also taking seats behind the moderator desk.

Megyn Kelly posted an image of herself getting her hair and makeup done before the debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Four candidates qualified for the fourth Republican presidential primary debate

Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie qualified to debate for the fourth Republican primary showdown on Wednesday.

NewsNation is hosting the debate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Rumble and are livestreaming the debate from 8:00-10:00 PM ET.

It will also be broadcast on NewsNation, The CW and its affiliates in other time zones.

Stand-ins assume positions behind the debate podiums in preparations for the fourth Republican presidential primary debate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday afternoon

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