Six of the eight candidates who took part in Wednesday’s first Republican primary debate said that they would support former President Donald Trump even if he is convicted in one of the four current court cases facing him. The answer appears to show the former president’s influence even though he did not appear on the debate stage.
When asked by debate moderator Bret Baier, seven of the eight candidates raised their hands when asked if they would support Trump if he was convicted of a crime. Only former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) did not raise his hand when the question was asked.
However, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) then stated that he would not support the former president in such a circumstance.
He said that “someone’s got to stop normalizing this conduct.”
The former New Jersey governor said that whether or not “you believe that the criminal charges are right or wrong, the conduct is beneath the office of the president of the United States.”
Here is the clip of GOP candidates being asked if they would support Trump as the nominee if he was convicted in a court of law: pic.twitter.com/5bjT7yfcFZ
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) August 24, 2023
Hutchinson criticized the former president, arguing that Trump was “morally disqualified from being president again as a result of what happened on Jan. 6.”
The former governor said that Trump may be disqualified from serving due to a clause in the 14th Amendment.
The former president wrote earlier this week that he would not take part in the Republican primary debates.
Trump wrote on social media that the “public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had. “
“I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” he wrote.
During an interview with Fox News, Trump criticized the polling positions of the other candidates, including those “at 1 or 2% and 0%,” asking why he would allow them to ask him questions during the forum.
The former president also criticized what he called a “hostile network” in Fox.
Instead of attending the debate, Trump took part in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which the pair spoke about a number of wide-ranging topics.