Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

‘Fox & Friends’ hosts Republican candidates at Brick and Spoon

Courtesy of Fox News

All four Republican primary candidates gathered at Tuscaloosa’s Brick and Spoon restaurant early Thursday morning to discuss post-debate issues live on “Fox & Friends.” 

The candidates were interviewed by host Lawrence Jones on the “Breakfast with Friends” segment of the broadcast. Students and Tuscaloosa residents arrived early to join the candidates and speak their minds on who they thought had won the debate. 

Jones repeatedly asked the room which candidate had won, and it was clear from a show of hands and cheers that attendees felt former president and Republican front-runner Donald Trump had won. 

Katie Astle, senior producer for “Fox & Friends” and UA alum, said she had fun seeing how much attention the University received from hosting the debate. 

“It does feel like you’re in a little bubble in college, but college kids have such a role in the future and especially in politics,” Astle said. “You all are old enough to vote, so you might as well be well informed.” 

At 5:30 a.m, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie entered the building. He told Jones that Trump had stopped being fit for the presidency when the former president began claiming that the 2020 election had been stolen. 

When asked about the debate, Christie said he thought Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was too scripted and that his memorized answers would not work in office.

At 6:17 a.m, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy entered the restaurant. There were cheers and applause from many of the younger voters and students in the room supporting Ramaswamy. 

Ramaswamy told Jones that he is the only candidate who can speak the truth without a corporate filter. He said there is a deep ideological divide within the GOP when it comes to Republican policy. He also said former United Nations ambassador and fellow candidate Nikki Haley was as guilty as the Democratic Party when it comes to failing Americans on foreign policy. 

Ramaswamy tended to interrupt and talk over Jones and the “Fox & Friends” hosts who were in the New York studio as he said he respectfully disagreed with what the hosts had to say regarding topics such as China and Russia. 

He at one point replied to their questions by saying, “I actually understand what the heck I’m talking about here.”

In a statement to The Crimson White, Ramaswamy said he had enjoyed his time in Tuscaloosa. 

“It’s not only visually beautiful … but even the vibrant nature of the questions and the warm welcome we received,” Ramaswamy said. “It really left a positive impression on our family’s heart.” 

DeSantis arrived shortly after Ramaswamy left and was greeted with the most applause and yelling of all the candidates. The crowd held up signs and wore buttons in support of the governor as he made his way around the room taking pictures and signing autographs. 

When asked by Jones what he would do as president when it comes to the latest war between Israel and Hamas, DeSantis said he would do what he needed to do to defend his people; however, echoing Christie’s criticism of DeSantis from the night before, Jones pointed out that DeSantis would not clearly answer.

When questioned further, DeSantis said the idea of sending troops is definitely on the table. 

The governor turned the conversation to transgender rights, which was a major issue of his during the last debate. 

He claimed that Christie and Haley supported “gender mutilation.” DeSantis continued to attack Haley by claiming she had brought China to South Carolina while she was governor.

In a statement to The CW, DeSantis said he had enjoyed his first trip to Tuscaloosa and was happy to be a part of the debate. The Florida governor noted that Crimson Tide fans have been nice to him despite Florida State University not making the college football playoffs.

Haley came to the restaurant shortly after DeSantis left. Even though she’s a Clemson fan, she said Alabama had done a great job against Georgia in the SEC championship. 

While Haley referred The CW’s request for comment to her communications department, which has not responded with a statement, she told Jones that her fellow candidates are jealous that big donors are backing her instead of them. Haley said Ramswamy has proven that he is not a civilized and serious candidate, so she is not going to waste her time on him. 

Haley said the government should not be involved in social media companies, an issue that was mentioned at the Wednesday debate; however, she would like social media platforms to be transparent about their algorithms. She said she would focus on getting rid of foreign bots, as this is a national security threat. 

Trenton Buffenbarger, a sophomore majoring in political science, said he attended the Republican National Committee group watch party at WestGate Condominiums on Wednesday night. 

“Personally, I think Vivek won the debate because he got off more of his points than anyone else,” Buffenbarger said. “He stood by his points and I don’t think he lost any crown at all.” 

Although he thought Ramaswamy won the debate, Buffenbarger said he’s standing behind Trump. He said he thinks the only other candidate who could beat Biden would be DeSantis. 

“I think I’ll still support Trump because he’s proven himself in office and I think he can do it again,” Buffenbarger said. 

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