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How to watch the first Republican presidential debate

How to watch the first Republican presidential debate


Most of the GOP’s top candidates will be there except former President Donald Trump.

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Presidential Hopefuls Square Off In First GOP Debate
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The first GOP primary debate ahead of the 2024 presidential election is taking place tonight in Milwaukee. Most of the Republican Party’s top candidates will be onstage vying to overtake Donald Trump’s top polling position while the former president is reportedly skipping the event.

We won’t know what questions will be thrown at the candidates until they’re asked, but The Verge will be watching for any mention of how the nomination contenders set themselves apart on major tech issues, like banning TikTok, data privacy, and breaking up Big Tech.

How do I watch tonight’s Republican debate?

Previous debates have been simulcast across a variety of major networks and cable channels, but Wednesday’s event will be exclusively aired on Fox News, Fox Business Network, the company’s website, and its streaming service, Fox Nation.

The debate will not officially be streamed on YouTube. Earlier this month, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel announced that the conservative-friendly video site Rumble will be the official platform livestreaming the event.

What time does tonight’s Republican debate start?

The debate is slated to begin at 9PM ET and is expected to end at 11PM.

Which candidates will be onstage?

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence
  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
  • North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
  • Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
  • Senator Tim Scott (SC)
  • Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy

Who are the moderators?

Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will be moderating the debate.

What’s Trump doing instead?

On Sunday, Trump confirmed that he would not be attending the debate and suggested he wouldn’t show up at any others as well.

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” he wrote on Truth Social. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”

The New York Times reported Friday that the former president will likely sit in for an online interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson instead. In May, Carlson launched “a new version” of his old show Tucker Carlson Tonight on Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter. He has since interviewed guests like Ramaswamy and alleged human trafficker Andrew Tate.