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MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 23: Republican presidential candidates

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — Republican candidates are making their case for why they should be the next president.

In a debate on the Fox News Channel, candidates sparred over their positions on the economy, abortion, the war in Ukraine, and the southern border. Former Vice President Mike Pence and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy clashed several times, with Pence saying America can’t afford to have a “rookie” as the Republican nominee.

Pence and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley criticized Ramaswamy after he said he would end aid to Ukraine.

“The problem that Vivek doesn’t understand is, he wants to hand Ukraine to Russia,” said Haley. “He wants to let China eat Taiwan. He wants to stop funding Israel. You don’t do that to friends!”

Ramaswamy responded “false” to a lot of that statement by Haley.

On inflation, Pence touted his time as governor of Indiana as an example of how he would deal with high inflation.

“I balanced budgets and cut taxes while I was governor,” he said. “Look, Joe Biden has weakened this country both at home and abroad.”

President Biden was a focal point of a lot of talking points by the field of Republicans throughout the night.

“Our country is in decline,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “This decline is not inevitable, it’s a choice. We need to send Joe Biden back to his basement and reverse American decline.”

DeSantis also pledged to treat drug cartels along the southern border as terrorist organizations.

Most of the eight candidates also said they’d support former President Trump for president if he won the nomination even if he were convicted in one of his four cases.

Trump skipped the debate and instead released a pre-taped interview with ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Trump said he did not participate in the GOP primary debate because he’s so far ahead in the polls.

During an interview with Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired during the Milwaukee debate, Trump claimed he was up between 50 and 70 points over other candidates.

Trump also said he didn’t want to go on stage and “get harassed by people that shouldn’t even be running for President,” calling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis a “lost cause” and Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson “weak and pathetic.”