Fox News Politics: Top takeaways from the first GOP debate

Welcome to a special edition Fox News’ Politics newsletter with a wrap-up of the first Republican presidential debate. Subscribe now to get Fox News Politics newsletter in your inbox.

WHO WON? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gained a lot of praise from pundits, but commentators are far from a consensus on which candidate did the best in the debate… Read more: Biggest winners and losers of ‘aggressive,’ ‘messy’ first Republican debate, according to top GOP strategists

MISSED THE DEBATE? Watch the full Republican primary debate on Fox News

Republican presidential candidates (L-R), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy at the debate (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Former President Trump — the commanding frontrunner in the GOP field — may not have been on stage, but he dominated the first half of the debate… Read more: Seven of eight Republican candidates raise hands to say they’d support Trump as nominee even if convicted

ON ONE THING THEY AGREE: Unsurprisingly, the GOP candidates took swipes at President Biden… Read more: DeSantis warns America might never ‘recover’ from another 4 years of Biden

TAKING THE HEAT: First-time candidate Vivek Ramaswamy took attacks from all sides — from Mike Pence calling him a “rookie” to former Gov. Chris Christie saying he sounded like an AI generated candidate… Read more: Republicans react to first GOP debate performances: ‘Vivek was the lightning rod’

… Read more: Ramaswamy, Pence clash after former VP calls GOP newcomer a ‘rookie’: ‘This isn’t complicated’

PENCE PRAISED BY RIVALS: Though the candidates had differing support for Trump, they all agreed Pence did the right thing certifying the 2020 election… Read more: Republican candidates agree Pence ‘did the right thing’ on Jan. 6

GOP candidates are set to go head-to-head in the first primary debate August 23.

GOP candidates are set to go head-to-head in the first primary debate August 23. (Fox News)

ABORTION DUST UP: Pence went after former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for not showing conservative leadership on the contentious issue… Read more: Haley calls for ‘consensus’ on issue of abortion, as Pence says that is ‘the opposite of leadership’

UKRAINE IN THE MEMBRANE: Big disagreement in how the US should support Ukraine in its defense from Russia’s war… Read more: GOP candidates clash over Ukraine War funding: ‘this is disastrous’

GIRLS’ SPORTS: South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott used his closing arguments to speak about biological males in women’s sports… Read more: Tim Scott uses closing arguments to send shot at transgender athletes in women’s sports

WHAT DEMS ARE SAYING: A Democratic figure used obscenity to react to the GOP showdown… Read more: Big-name Dems rage against candidates at first GOP presidential debate: ‘A**hole”

TOUGHING IT OUT: North Carolina Gov. Doug Burgum tore his Achilles’ playing basketball hours before the debate, but stood at the podium despite walking in on crutches… Read more: ND Gov Doug Burgum to participate in GOP presidential debate after suffering leg injury

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