‘Minor League Baseball Tryout’: GOP Debate Panned as out of Touch with Base

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 23: Republican presidential candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy (L)
Win McNamee/Getty

Pro-Trump conservatives panned the first Republican presidential primary debate — which did not address immigration until more than an hour in — as out of touch with the GOP base.

Sean Parnell, host of the Battleground podcast and former U.S. Senate candidate, posted on X: “For the most part, this debate was not in anyway representative of where the base of the Republican Party is.”

“Most of these candidates miss the moment. It’s not difficult to see why Trump is by far & away the front runner,” he added. Parnell has endorsed Trump for 2024.

As reported by Breitbart News’ John Binder, debate moderators Bret Baier and Martha McCallum asked about climate change and abortion rights ahead of immigration, crime, and the threat of China — top concerns of likely GOP voters.

One X user called the GOP “completely out of touch with the Grass Roots.”

“We heard a question about UFOs in tonight’s Presidential Debate. But did we hear any questions about election integrity?”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who has also endorsed Trump, compared the debate an “open minor league baseball tryout.”

“A combination of has-beens and not-quite-ready-yet upstarts,” he posted on X.

Businessman Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, called the debate a “clown show.”

“TRUMP is brilliant by passing the clown show known as [the] Republican Debate. He and Tucker Carlson, who was canned by Fox are laughing in the faces of Republicans and Fox Executives. Congratulations Trump and Tucker. God Bless and protect America’s freedoms,” he posted on X.

Juanita Broddrick posted: “Boy, did Trump make the right call or what? The Debate was a circus. Vivek was the only one on that stage with a lick of sense. Maybe VP Ramaswamy???”

Former Trump administration official William Wolfe called the candidates who participated in the debate the “JV squad” and “neo-cons.”

One popular take on X was that the debate showed what “GOP dork politics looks like.”

Reanna Dilley, podcast host, perhaps summarized the sentiment of Trump’s base in an X post: “I hate this debate. I hate the GOP. I hate these candidates. Trump is the ONLY REASON I tolerate putting the (R) next to my name at voting time.”

Another popular take was: “The debate is 7 trump haters vs Vivek Ramaswamy.”

Even Fox News show host Laura Ingraham, who praised the debate as a “fantastic event,” expressed doubt that any of the debaters convinced Republicans they were better than Trump.

“After the end of this debate, did any of them really make the case to the American people that they’re better, they would be better than Trump to win the nomination? I think that’s a hard one,” she said.


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