Debate drinking game tradition resurfaces for Republican primary showdown

The first debate of an election season can be a foreboding proposition given that you may suddenly realise during it that we’re all on this runaway train now until 20 January 2025 when someone will be sworn in as president.

And yet here we are at the first Republican Party primary debate of the 2024 election. Even without the chaotic presence of former President Donald Trump (though his campaign has released a DeSantis-themed bingo card for tonight), it still could be quite a scene...

If you’re a Democrat, you’ll likely be horrified by what you on stage tonight. If you’re a Republican, you’ll either be scoffing at the also-rans taking pot-shots at each other in Milwaukee — while your preferred candidate sits at home in Bedminster considering his indictments — or you’ll possibly be despairing as your favourite candidate fails to get traction in the crowded field.

Never fear, as has become a tradition with such political minefield events, there are always the inevitable drinking games to fall back on and take the edge off the evening.

Here are some drinking prompt highlights culled from the conservative press.

The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller recommends you “gather your most opinionated friends, grab a case or two of any beer not owned by Anheuser-Busch and prepare your liver!”

The rules here start pretty straightforward, drink once for attacking or defending Trump, mentioning “woke” or “Bidenomics”, complaining about not getting to talk enough, or telling another candidate to drop out (a bold move).

The “drink twice” lists are split by each candidate, so you could have fun dividing them up amongst your friends, though some will likely see more action than others.

Some fun ones include to drink twice if:

  • DeSantis getting attacked for having “pudding fingers”

  • Ramaswamy gets made fun of for rapping

  • Haley both attacks Trump and brags about working for him

  • Pence falls into his signature metronymic cadence

  • Hutchinson gets to speak at all

There’s a separate list for finishing your beer, which you can check out here.

Former President Trump’s campaign released a Ron DeSantis-themed bingo card for the first GOP primary debate (Donald Trump)
Former President Trump’s campaign released a Ron DeSantis-themed bingo card for the first GOP primary debate (Donald Trump)

New York Post

Some slight variations from the Post which thoughtfully suggests taking a sip of water: “...every time Donald Trump is mentioned. This will keep you hydrated.”

The rules say to kick things off with a shot before settling in to take sips of your drink at the mention of “woke”, “unflattering nicknames”, “Biden crime family”... you get the idea.

Some of the more daunting ones that could sneak up on people are: “When a candidate uses a 3-letter acronym” [e.g. weaponised FBI], “when a candidate deflects when asked if the election was rigged”, and most worryingly “when a candidate interrupts someone else”, which could leave you calling in sick tomorrow.

The Post then takes players back to shots for some more contentious issues including January 6 (yikes!), Chris Christie’s weight (but Trump won’t be there?), if someone says Nikki Haley is “past her prime” (extremely dangerous), and to mix your shot with orange juice if Mr DeSantis says Florida is where “woke goes to die”.

You also have to shotgun a Bud Light if Trump surrenders to Fulton County Jail during the debate… (could happen!)

Read the full rules here.

National Review

Probably the most straightforward set of rules from National Review, given it’s a simple: “Drink if…” — here are some highlights:

  • Ron DeSantis says, “At the end of the day” (one sip, fearing early-onset overconsumption)

  • Nikki Haley criticizes Trump and then defends him against the same attack 10 minutes later

  • Ramaswamy stops the debate to point out federal agents in the crowd

  • Chris Christie squares up to the camera and says, “I want to talk to the folks at home for a second . . .”

  • Ramaswamy claims Elvis is still alive and living in Cuba with Tupac

  • Halfway through the debate, Francis Suarez can be heard banging on the arena doors

  • The arena lights go out, the Undertaker’s music starts playing, and Trump materializes on the stage (grab the nearest handle and chug)

Read the full list here.