It’s been a week since the second GOP primary debate took place. Viewership was down and those who did tune in were largely left wanting more thanks to the questions, the decorum (or lack thereof), and the absence of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. All of this led Megyn to call the showing a “hot mess” that was “not a good night for the Republican Party.”
As it turns out, those on the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, were similarly unimpressed. On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by former vice president and current 2024 Republican candidate Mike Pence to discuss the debates and the topic he’d most like to go toe-to-toe with Trump on.
The Purpose of the Debates
The purpose of primary debates is for candidates to show voters where they stand on the issues most important to them in contrast to others in their party. Megyn does not believe that goal was accomplished at the second debate because of the topics covered. “It was like Rachel Maddow was sitting on the debate stage,” Megyn said. “This time around was supposed to be for Republican primary voters.”
Pence admitted that he preferred the first debate to the second because “it was more orderly” and purposeful. “I think this is a very serious time in the life of our nation… and to have a debate that really devolved into, at times, a shouting match was a disservice to the country,” he said. “I tried to be in the fight… but above the fray.”
In his view, the candidates weren’t given the opportunity to properly express themselves. “Many of the questions began with a kind of a provocation to each of the participants, calling them out and then asking them to respond,” he noted.
That’s why Pence said he would have liked to see Megyn as a moderator. “We missed you up there,” he said. “You ask tough questions, but you are actually one of those people who let people answer the question.”
Trump has not been participating in the debates thus far and has called for the remaining schedule to be canceled due to his outsized lead in the polls. Despite the flaws of the second debate, Pence believes they must continue – and believes his former running mate should be there. “Let the debates continue,” he said. “I’d like to see one more participant on the stage.”
If the forty-fifth president isn’t interested in appearing on the traditional debate stage, Pence had another idea. “Rather than having him out there… maybe I’ll come on your podcast and debate Donald Trump just one on one,” Pence teased. “People have asked me what I think about debating Donald Trump and I say I’ve debated Donald Trump a thousand times, just never on camera.”
What topic would he most like to go toe-to-toe with Trump on? “Well, look, I am pro-life, and I don’t apologize for it,” he said. “I would really want to know why someone who led the most pro-life administration in American history would call a ‘Heartbeat Bill’ passed not only in Florida but Georgia and Ohio and Iowa… a terrible mistake… I’d like to know why he thinks that election losses in 2022 were because we managed to see Roe v. Wade sent to the ash heap of history.”
He believes American voters need to hear more from Trump on the topic. “I really do believe the president needs to share with voters whether or not he is going to be a champion for the right to life in states across the country and in our nation’s capital,” Pence concluded. “Economic philosophies we have separation on and, of course, in regard to America’s role as leader of the free world, but everything for me begins with the unalienable right to life.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Pence by tuning in to episode 641 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.