The third Republican presidential debate kicked-off Wednesday evening with five candidates taking the stage in Miami, Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all met the thresholds to debate for a third time this primary election cycle. 

Frontrunner Donald Trump is again skipping the debate – and instead is hosting a rally just 15 miles down the road in Hialeah, Florida. 

Follow along with’s liveblog for all the debate and rally coverage. 

Ahead of his rally in Florida, Donald Trump deflected blame for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s gubernatorial loss in Tuesday’s election to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 81.

The ex-president endorsed Cameron for governor and claimed credit for ‘a huge surge’ in support just days before the Tuesday election.

Cameron was defeated by incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. But Trump says it was Kentucky Sen. McConnell’s fault.

‘Daniel Cameron lost because he couldn’t alleviate the stench of Mitch McConnell. I told him early that’s a big burden to overcome,’ Trump wrote on Truth Social.

He added: ‘McConnell and Romney are Kryptonite for Republican Candidates.’

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - NOVEMBER 07: Republican Candidate for Governor of Kentucky, Attorney General Daniel Cameron concedes to incumbent Democratic Governor Andy Beshear as his wife, Makenze Cameron, listen at the Republican election watch party at the Marriott Hotel on November 7, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky. Incumbent Democratic Andy Beshear will serve a second term as Governor of Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Swensen/Getty Images) *BESTPIX*

Kentcuky Attorney General Daniel Cameron concedes in his gubernatorial race as his wife Makenze listens

Trump celebrates ruling he can STAY on Minnesota ballot

Another bid to boot Donald Trump from a state’s presidential ballot by using the 14th Amendment was thrown out on Wednesday.

The former president celebrated the ruling on his Truth Social platform ahead of his debate day rally in Hialeah, Florida.

‘Ridiculous 14th Amendment lawsuit just thrown out by Minnesota Supreme Court,’ he wrote. ‘Congratulations to all who fought this HOAX!’

Those who oppose Trump’s presidency are also trying this tactic in other states – including Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The 14th Amendment percludes people from running for public office who took an oath to the Constitution and then participated in an insurrection.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made the debate stage.

This drops two more candidates from the last debate – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burum, who did not qualify, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who dropped out of the race.

Donald Trump again met and far exceeded the polling and donor requirements to debate but is skipping the event for the third time this cycle.

Instead, the former president is holding a rally just 30-minutes down the road from the debate in Hialeah, Florida.

Debate stage November 8 VERSION 2 // (Politics) 12716665 Third Republican primary debate preview / graphic illustration infographic

Democrats’ Dark Brandon meme comes to Miami

Democrats trolled Republicans’ third primary debate by scattering outside the venue ‘Dark Brandon’ meme cutouts of President Joe Biden’s head with red laser eyes.

The cutouts were posted into the ground and along barricades outside the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts in Miami, Florida – the locations for the third Republican presidential primary debate.

Cut-outs of the "Dark Brandon" internet meme are displayed across from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the venue for the third Republican presidential primary debate in Miami, Florida, on November 8, 2023. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Dark Brandon’ was embraced by Democrats that ironically combines ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ – a euphemism used by Trump supporters to say ‘f***k Joe Biden’ – and Dark MAGA that instead turns it around to celebrate President Biden’s policies.

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 08: Vanessa Brito works on placing campaign signs supporting President Joe Biden into the back of a pickup truck before the third Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on November 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida. The debate featuring five Republican Presidential candidates is scheduled to be aired on NBC at 8 p.m. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A worker placing the memes outside the debate loads the campaign signs into a pickup truck ahead of candidates taking the stage on November 8

Floridians rally for Trump as candidates prepare to take the stage

Hundreds of supporters of former Preident Donald Trump descended on southern Florida Wednesday just 15 miles from the location of the third presidential primary debate.

As usual, Trump is running his own counter programming to the Republican debate – this time with a rally in Hialeah, Florida, which is less than a 30-minute drive from where his competitors are on Wednesday evening.

At previous debates, Trump alternate plans weren’t in the same vicinity of the debate.

The rally spectacle is sure to take viewership and attention in Miami away from the debate where participants include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, biotech millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Trump’s rally kicks-off at 7pm – exactly an hour before his competitors will start debating.

Supporters look at merchandise while arriving to hear former US President and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speak at a rally at Ted Hendricks Stadium at Henry Milander Park in Hialeah, Florida, on November 8, 2023. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP) (Photo by RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters browse merchandise as they arrive for Trump’s rally in Hialeah, Florida on Wednesday

HIALEAH, FL - NOVEMBER 8: Supporters arrive at the venue as former U.S. President Donald Trump is set to deliver remarks at The Ted Hendricks Stadium at Henry Milander Park on November 8, 2023 in Hialeah, Florida. Even as Trump faces multiple criminal indictments, he still maintains a commanding lead in the polls over the other Republican candidates. (Photo by Alon Skuy/Getty Images)

At least several hundred – to upwards of a few thousand – Trump supporters wait in line to gain access to the ex-president’s rally in Hialeah, Florida


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