Here’s how 2024 Republicans are preparing for the second GOP debate

Seven qualified Republican presidential candidates are set to take the stage in Simi Valley, Calif., Wednesday night for the party’s second primary debate, and the contenders are spending the run-up in the gym, with their families and listening to music. 

Sen. Tim Scott’s campaign told The Hill that he plans to spend time “in prayer, in scripture, and in the gym” after being in California with his family and team members in the days leading up to the closely watched event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence will “get a workout in, do some light prep, and spend time with his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter,” his campaign told The Hill.

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also plans to work out before the big event, his campaign said, as well as spend time with his wife and two sons.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s pre-debate routine “will include plenty of Bruce Springsteen,” his campaign said. “Once he’s on the stage, the strategy is simple: listen to the questions, answer them directly, and call out dishonesty when he sees it.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will also be on the stage, the Republican National Committee announced. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who made the cut for the first stage in August, was left off the list.

Also absent from the stage is the party’s front-runner candidate, former President Trump, who will give remarks in Michigan as counter-programming. He also skipped the first debate.

Haley told Fox Business on Friday that her packed campaign trail calendar, answering questions at town halls in key states, has been “the best debate prep you can get.”

“As we head into the second primary debate on Wednesday evening, we are excited to build on last month’s strong performance in Milwaukee and take advantage of another opportunity for Ron DeSantis to deliver his message to millions of Americans across the country who are just now beginning to tune in to the race,” DeSantis’s team said in a memo to supporters ahead of the event. 

Burgum said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, I’ll outline my vision for how we’ll unlock the best of America and improve every American life.”

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