We keep being told the GOP has become a working-class party that rejects neoliberal economics. Someone should’ve told the Republican candidates at Wednesday night’s debate.

by Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

Remember how the Republican Party is meant to be a “working-class party” that has rejected neoliberal economics? It’s a claim plastered all over the GOP’s branding since the 2020 elections. Well, apparently the Republican candidates themselves forgot, since the new working class–focused, economically populist mood we keep being told has taken over the GOP was nowhere to be found at last night’s Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.

Candidates recited more or less what you’d expect from Republican politicians on every other issue, like that climate change is no big deal, progressive prosecutors are making crime out of control, and that abortion should basically be impossible. Economic policy saw no surprises, either.

Ron DeSantis The Governor of Florida participated in the 2024 first Republican Debate.

America “cannot succeed when the Congress spends trillions and trillions of dollars,” Florida governor Ron DeSantis thundered. “We cannot sit by any longer and allow the kind of spending that’s going on in Washington,” said former New Jersey governor and Donald Trump whipping boy Chris Christie, shortly after boasting about cutting taxes and debt as governor. Tea Party darling and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley attacked Republicans and the Donald Trump administration in particular as wild spendthrifts that “added $8 trillion to our debt,” even at one point comparing Democrats favorably to the GOP in terms of keeping a lid on earmarks. “I think it’s time for an accountant in the White House,” she concluded.

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