2nd GOP PRIMARY DEBATE
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
SEPTEMBER 27, 2023
9:00 PM: Fox Business host Stuart Varney welcomes the audience. “I’m Stuart Varney, my British accent makes tonight’s disgust toward working people and minorities sound intelligent. I’m thrilled to be here with my co-moderators, Dana Perino, who is contractually obligated to be blonde and present, and… this other woman… she’s—it’s ‘Uni’? ‘Uni Vision’? Is that something? She speaks Spanish. This does not seem legal. Do we have any immigration officers here? Can we telephone INS?” Univision’s Ilia Calderón responds, “Thank you, Stuart.”
9:04 PM: Dana Perino directs the first question to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott by pointing out that he had recently praised Reagan for firing striking air traffic controllers, and then asks whether he would fire the currently striking United Auto Workers. “The workers want more benefits for working fewer hours,” Scott says. “Imagine what could happen if workers had free time to think about the meaninglessness of their lives under capitalism or, god forbid, experience joy? The whole system would fall apart.” Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, whose hair, like everyone who meets him, is trying to get as far away from him as possible, declares that “victimhood is a choice.” About President Biden’s recent visit with striking workers, former Vice President Mike Pence adds slowly, “Biden doesn’t belong on the picket line, he belongs on the unemployment line.” It’s clear from the start that the Muppeteer operating his arms will be making bolder, more pronounced choices in this debate.
9:10 PM: Ilia Calderón addresses the potential upcoming government shutdown and asks whether populist Republicans should be blamed if Congress cannot reach a deal. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responds that all politicians should be blamed, saying that Biden is hiding in his basement and Trump is hiding at his golf club instead of showing up to the debates to answer questions about his adding $7 trillion to the federal debt. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chimes in: “I also received word to mention Trump added $7 trillion to the debt. I would like to state that I move in a natural human way.” Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley nods, “Yes, I, too, got both the Trump’s debt and China memos.” Several of the candidates yell, “CHINA!” while others shout, “CRIME,” “CARTELS,” and “SOUTHERN BORDER.” Tim Scott repeats “PEAS AND CARROTS,” and North Dakota Governor Doug Bergdorf baritones, “ELECTRIC VEHICLES.” Dana Perino reminds the candidates to be civil or at least be less boring, before going back to scrolling job postings on her phone.
9:18 PM: Moving to childcare costs, Perino asks Tim Scott what he would do as president to help parents who are worried about the skyrocketing costs of childcare. Scott says he’d cut corporate tax rates for some reason. Ramaswamy interrupts and says if kids wanted to be cared for, they’d stop being victims and raise themselves. Doug Birddog asks whether he can answer. Perino stares him dead in the eyes and wordlessly moves her finger in a slashing motion across her own throat. Doug’s eyebrows audibly whimper.
9:39 PM: As outtakes from the classic 1987 film Mannequin are shown, Perino says, “Last night looters took over the streets of Philadelphia. Crime is surging and we want to make sure the viewers at home are as scared as possible in order to keep them malleable. How will you help?” Christie responds, “Donald, I know you’re watching, you can’t help yourself. You’re not here, because you’re afraid of being on this stage. You’re ducking your record, and if you keep doing that we’re not going to call you Donald Trump anymore, we’re going to call you,” his eyes twinkle, “Donald Duck.” Ramaswamy, his hair now three feet high and rising, smarmily slides in, “Hell yeah! We doing catchphrases now? American Exceptionalism!” Nikki Haley shakes her head at him. “Honestly, every time I hear you I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.” Chris Christie tries to high-five her, but she pretends she can’t see him. “I didn’t know we were supposed to have catchphrases,” interjects a crestfallen Doug Burpee, “I thought we were just answering questions.” Ramaswamy’s hair slaps him across the face.
9:51 PM: Perino asks Pence whether he will repeal Obamacare if he’s elected, or whether this popular program is here to stay. “Thank you for that question,” Pence answers. “In Indiana, I sleep with my wife in a bedroom. We do not touch. We need a president who can start on day one. We do not have time for on-the-job training. That is my catchphrase, and I would like to add that to the part of the night where the phrases were catching. I will now pause for laughter and/or applause.” Tim Scott mutters and shakes his head at the moderators. “Oh, so you’re just going to pretend I’m not here.” Varney replies, “That is correct. Governor DeSantis, why is Florida’s insured average worse than the national average?” DeSantis, still obviously getting used to his human skin, responds, “We don’t want welfare benefits in Florida. What we want is that when people are sick or struggling, they just die. This helps us keep the statistics on how many unemployed and sick people we have lower than it would be if we allowed any amount of humanity or compassion into our state.”
10:13 PM: As the debate moves to the topic of immigration, Calderón asks Ramaswamy about his position that he would expel American citizens if they were the children of illegal immigrants. Ramaswamy pulls the original Constitution out of his pompadour, “Now the Left will howl about how I ‘stole’ the Constitution and how it’s an ‘artifact,’ but what they don’t know is the Constitution actually says right here that what I personally believe is true and what anyone else believes isn’t true.” Tim Scott interrupts, “Vivek, weren’t you just working for the communist Chinese party, let’s fricking go.” Pence attempts to interject but manages only to make a low hum, similar to the sound overhead lighting makes at a near-empty Hardees. DeSantis senses an opening to dunk on both Ramaswamy and Scott, but his face cracks after he attempts a wry smile, and he is forced to hide his head in his hands as the alien cells quickly re-bond him back into a human visage. Nikki Haley rolls her eyes at a deafening volume as Ramaswamy shouts, “THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING WHILE I’M INTERRUPTING,” which starts everyone yelling like a firecracker going off in a nursery at naptime. Dana Perino grumbles, “I literally hate all of you, OMG,” as Ramaswamy’s now sentient hair reaches the tech booth and cuts the mics.
10:38 PM: Varney addresses Ramaswamy: “Despite your previous stance against social media, you joined TikTok because of Jake Paul. Should we accept having a president who is so easily influenced by entitled doofuses with two first names?” “Look,” Ramaswamy answers, “no kids should be allowed on social media where Matt Gaetz can find them. But at the same time, I want to win and that means learning the coolest dances and eating girl dinners.” Former Vice President Pence awakens from his nap and says, “In my day, TikTok meant that Captain Hook was going to flip out. As his first mate, I had to hustle to find that crocodile before it found him.” Nikki Haley groans, “This is infuriating, TikTok is the worst app there is. China can get all our data, and they know exactly what they’re doing. You’re in business with China, Vivek, and we can not trust you.” “Oh, wow, someone’s being mean,” Ramaswamy says. Haley inhales deeply, “I will literally destroy you, I will melt you down and keep you in a tin in the closet just so I can light you when the electricity goes out, you Madame Tussaud factory reject.” Tim Scott, ignored, asks, “No, really, am I even here? What if I’ve got the ghost of Ronald Reagan right here talking to me, ooooooohhhhhh, he’s saying you guys suck.” Doug Baseball pleads, “Can I please speak? I have a career in technology.” Perino closes her eyes and hums, “Shut up. I’m on an island with a cocktail, none of you exist.”
10:49 PM: Tim Scott and Nikki Haley fight about curtains.
10:57 PM: Dana Perino begins to bring the night to a close by saying, “We only have a few more minutes. I could go another hour, but I would also rather shoot myself in the head. Anyway, Trump is going to win, and this is all a ridiculous joke, so everyone pick up the paper on your podium and write down which other candidate you’d kick off the island.” Ron DeSantis, realizing he doesn’t know how to spell “Ramaswamy,” says this exercise is childish and he refuses to participate. Perino replies, “Okay, you’re behind in every poll, what is your path to beating Trump?” DeSantis leans into his podium confidently and answers, “Boy math.” Varney notes that Chris Christie had written something and calls on him to share his work with the class. Christie says, “I’ve been very clear, I have respect for everyone on this stage. I’d vote Trump off.” Ramaswamy starts to interject as Christie says, “Vivek, shut up. I’m trying to pretend to be nice. Come on, man, Jesus Christ.” Ramaswamy’s hair, now as high as the rafters, has spelled out HELP ME and is clawing itself toward the exit. The ghost of Ronald Reagan crashes a chandelier down on the audience, and everyone screams. “Finally,” Varney sighs as the room goes black.