Fox Names Haley the Debate Winner: Here’s Why

( – On August 23, most of next year’s Republican presidential hopefuls, apart from front-runner Donald Trump, took part in the first primary debate in Milwaukee. The next day, Fox News assessed the candidates’ performance and named the one they felt came out on top. Their conclusion has surprised many.

On August 24, Fox carried out an autopsy of the previous night’s debate between the conservatives who’re challenging Trump for next year’s GOP nomination. Eight candidates took part: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, former Alaska governor Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Ramaswamy is the closest politically to Trump and came under a lot of fire from his rivals. There are mixed opinions on who came across best, but Fox News thinks there was a clear winner — Haley.

The praise started with Brian Kilmeade saying Haley got the better of Ramaswamy in their fierce debate about his foreign policy ideas. As a former US ambassador to the United Nations, Haley would be expected to shine here, and she gave Ramaswamy both barrels, telling him, “You have no foreign policy experience, and it shows!” and warning that his isolationist policies would “make Americans less safe.”

Ainsley Earhardt backed Kilmeade, saying she was “glad” the former ambassador had shown up Ramaswamy. Steve Doocey said he liked the fact that, without Trump, the other candidates got a chance to talk about their policies.

Fox wasn’t the only media outlet to be impressed by Haley. CNN said her message was more attractive to a general election electorate than her rivals. The Wall Street Journal called her “the most pleasant surprise.” Based on current polling data, Haley has absolutely no chance of winning the nomination — but neither does anyone else who took part in the first debate. However, if Trump is forced to withdraw due to his mounting legal problems, then based on her debate performance, she could get a pleasant surprise of her own.

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