How Trump Actually ‘Skipped the Republican Debate Twice’

Hosted by Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada and Lydia Polgreen

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The first Republican primary debate of the 2024 election is over. Chris Christie wiggled his fingers. Nikki Haley took Vivek Ramaswamy to the woodshed. Tim Scott was a “nonentity.” And then there was that elephant decidedly not in the room, Donald Trump, who instead spent his evening raving about water pressure to Tucker Carlson.

As the former president is expected to turn himself in at the Fulton County Jail, the Matter of Opinion hosts discuss what we learned from the first G.O.P. debate — and what it means when everyone in the party is still desperate to both be Trump, and be rid of him.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Follow our hosts on X: Michelle Cottle (@mcottle), Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT), Carlos Lozada (@CarlosNYT) and Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen).

“Matter of Opinion” is produced by Sophia Alvarez Boyd, Phoebe Lett and Derek Arthur. It is edited by Stephanie Joyce. Mixing by Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Original music by Isaac Jones, Efim Shapiro, Carole Sabouraud and Pat McCusker. Our fact-checking team is Kate Sinclair, Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta and Kristina Samulewski. Our executive producer is Annie-Rose Strasser.

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