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The Republican National Committee has announced that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will participate in the fourth GOP presidential primary debate of the 2024 cycle.
When the candidates take to the stage December 6 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner according to polls, who is widely expected to win the nomination, will be conspicuously absent just as he was during the first three debates.
"The fourth debate is another fantastic opportunity for our Republican candidates to share our winning agenda with the American people," RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said, according to the RNC's press release. "President Reagan was the first sitting president to visit the University of Alabama nearly 40 years ago, just before cruising to a landslide victory in 1984, and I’m thrilled to return our conservative message to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night."
Megyn Kelly, Eliana Johnson, and Elizabeth Vargas will be moderating the debate.
On Monday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who was in the first two debates but not the third, announced the suspension of his presidential campaign and slammed the RNC's debate eligibility criteria. The criteria has required candidates to meet certain polling and unique donor thresholds to qualify for each debate.
"These arbitrary criteria ensure advantages for candidates from major media markets on the coasts versus America's Heartland. None of their debate criteria relate to the qualifications related to actually doing the job of the president. This effort to nationalize the primary system is unhealthy for the future of the party, especially for a party that proclaims to value leadership from outside of Washington," Burgum said in a statement.
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Alex Nitzberg is a staff writer for Blaze News.