Welcome to the Scripps News Live coverage of the GOP field on August 12th, 2023. In this edition, we delve into the developments and insights shared during the broadcast, featuring Raven Harrison. As the Republican primary race intensifies, we bring you highlights, analysis, and key takeaways from the event.
Scripps News Live August 12th, 2023 with Raven Harrison
During the broadcast, Raven Harrison provided valuable insights into the crowded GOP field and the challenges faced by the candidates. The primary focus was on the struggle for candidates to break through and make a significant impact in the race against the former president, Donald Trump. Despite the presence of strong contenders like Ron DeSantis, the gap between Trump and his rivals remains wide.
- Alexa Liacko: For the GOP field. It is a crowded field. We thought maybe it would be a little bit closer between the former president and Ron DeSantis. Definitely not the case thus far. Ron DeSantis has really struggled to hit Trump and make those numbers a little more even. We see a lot of candidates still stuck in the single digits. Do you think anyone can actually break through and beat the former president for the nomination? Is this Trump's to lose?
- Raven Harrison: I think it is Trump's to win and I do not think anyone is going to catch him in this field. And the main reason I feel that there's a disconnect with Governor DeSantis, I think he's doing a fabulous job with Florida. The issue is you cannot come out with a messaging strategy of comparing yourself to President Trump and then attacking President Trump. We all know within the GOP field that many people have reached out to President Trump for help, I mean DeSantis was failing in the polls and President Trump came in and then all of a sudden he came in and now there's some dissension between the two, but I do not believe that that is a resonating strategy. I believe several other candidates in the GOP field tried the same thing of saying, we are not quite Trump, we're Trump light and voters overwhelmingly said we don't want Trump light, we want Trump ultra. So what Trump was able to do in his first term of low unemployment, a thriving stock market and a secure border is what Americans want right now. These are kitchen table issues. We don't want ideology, we want money in our pockets and we want America to be the amazing country that it is that people fought, bled and died for.
- Alexa: And Nicole, I wanna ask you this next question. The analyst that we had on prior said that he feels like there's an appetite for maybe a less partisan system for more and that independent voters are really having a moment and really making their voices heard. I mean, from your perspective, do you see that becoming more and more important? Do you think we're just going to stick with another Trump and Biden race? Or do you see any of those other candidates really having a chance to break through and get in here?
- Nicole Brener-Schmitz: Look, I think when you ask the American voters, do you think politicians are corrupt? They say yes. Do they think that there is a corporate dominance in our system? Yes. Do they think that politicians can be bought and paid for? Yes. Does a person running on either side of the aisle who says I'm running against the swamp? I'm running, they run against Washington even if they're running for a state office, but they're running against the current infrastructure and that gets support? Yes. But then you have the system that we have. And the reality is that right now the US and the way we have structured our politics is really a two-party system and the financial infrastructure that lives within those two parties. And that both parties sort of play by a set of rules with the primaries and how it's orchestrated and set up means it's very hard to be a third party that doesn't come out of that and have a successful campaign across the entire country. We see it sometimes in individual places. Think back to Jesse Ventura as the governor of Minnesota. And we've seen instances where it has been successful and that has happened, but across the US, which is an enormous diverse country, to have that sort of success when you don't have that financial and grassroots infrastructure behind you is really, really difficult. So it would take a lot of work for a third party to kind of set that up in many years to get an infrastructure in place where a third party could present itself and have a real fighting chance of victory. Now, do they have a real fighting chance of peeling off a certain amount of money?
- Alexa: Nicole, I wanna interrupt you one more time. It seems like we've gotten RFK Jr.'s audio back up and running, so we're gonna listen to him and then we'll get your thoughts in just one more minute.
- [RFK Jr. Live]
- Robert F Kennedy Jr.: When I get in the White House, I will put an end to this and this pipeline will never be built. Thank you all very much.
- Alexa: All right, it seems like he's not taking any questions here. Nicole, I wanna go right back to you and talk about what we've heard today from the candidates we've heard so far from Ryan Binkley. We've heard so far from Vivek Ramaswamy, Mary Ann Williamson, RFK Jr. right there. We're waiting on Nikki Haley. She is set to take the stage at 4 p.m. Eastern. Any breakout moments that have stood out to you today that really suggest that any of these candidates has what it takes to really make a splash in this election?
- Nicole: I think they've been out there with their stump speeches and they're giving those messages, but I think that Raven hit one thing right on the nose, which is how, for the Republican side, they're trying to say, I am like Trump. I am so that. Pick me. Well, why would they pick you if what you're saying is complimenting the front-runner and they need to start to draw a contrast. They need to take a position that says, this is why this person shouldn't be president. And they seem to be hesitant to go too far in that, but then that stifles their own ability to try and make any inroads within their primary base. So we need to see them really step up and have a really direct confrontation with why they should be chosen from that base, because this is Trump's to lose, and he is the front-runner. And lest you give these voters a real reason, they aren't going to budge at all. So that's sort of the takeaway is that the Republican contenders still seem a little light on their contrast within their own primary as to why they are the best person from their party to be elected.
- Alexa: Raven, I want to get your response to that. And do you think you've seen any moments that stand out to you today from the Republican candidates who have spoken, not just today, but in the last couple of days as well, because we've heard from Mike Pence, Doug Burgum, some of the other bigger names that are still polling in the single digits. But do any of these candidates have what it takes to beat Donald Trump, and are they going to have to directly take on the president to take him down?
- Raven: Yes, yes, and no. I do not believe I've seen anything break out. Interesting coming from Pence's statement of saying that he had to choose between the Constitution and Donald Trump, which is ironically exactly what Donald Trump asked him to do, was to choose the Constitution. And so I feel like those little soundbites don't change the fact that the voters are speaking. Despite all of the legal trouble, the American people the voters for the GOP side are behind President Trump. He has been lapping the field. So the message that they have all been currently coming out with, I think that evolves and really centers around them, assuming that he's going to get tangled into a legal web, and they are hoping to capitalize on that. That's not what it's going to take. He is running away with this field because people want strength, they want leadership, and to be honest with you, they want proven demonstrated, proven, and proven demonstrated results. That's what he's running on. All these candidates are running on being able to do and promising to do what President Trump has already done in one term in office. So that's where I think we are. And as far as from the Democrats side, it's going to have to be how they are going to address the situation with Biden, who is an obvious mental or physical decline. But again, are they going to get behind another one? Are they just going to stay in their support with President Biden? The one thing I will give the Democrats is they unify. They will unify and stick with that and ride it to the end. And Republicans do not do that. But they should in this case.
- Alexa: And just important to note, Pence did not have the constitutional authority to overturn the results of the election. Just also no proof about Biden there, but we do want to make that note. And it is also important to note as well that a lot of these candidates don't have, as you mentioned, Raven, do not have the prior experience in the political field. But we're going to dig more into this. We've got to take a quick break, and we'll be right back with the next top least that on Scripps News.
GOP Field Wrap-up
As the discussion unfolded, it became evident that the Republican candidates face a formidable challenge in their quest for the party's nomination. While some contenders, such as Ron DeSantis, have shown promise, they have struggled to gain ground against the popularity and appeal of Donald Trump. Raven Harrison highlighted the importance of a clear messaging strategy and the necessity for candidates to contrast themselves against Trump rather than attempting to emulate him.
Amidst the discussions surrounding the GOP field, the issue of independent voters and their impact on the political landscape was also explored. While there seems to be an appetite for a less partisan system and a desire for independent voices, the current structure of American politics poses significant challenges for third-party candidates to achieve widespread success.
As the Republican primary race continues to unfold, it is crucial to stay informed and engaged with the evolving dynamics of the GOP field. Follow Scripps News for regular updates, analysis, and insights into the candidates' strategies and the shifting landscape in pursuit of the party's nomination. Stay tuned to Scripps News Live for more coverage of the political landscape and its impact on the upcoming elections.