During the first GOP debate for the 2024 presidential race, a crucial question was posed to the low-polling Republican candidates: Would they continue to support former President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee even if he is convicted in a court of law?
The first GOP presidential debate for the 2024 election was held tonight from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern in Milwaukee.
Bret Baier, the evening’s moderator and Fox News anchor, asked the presidential candidates, “You all signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. If former President Trump is convicted in a court of law, would you still support him as your party’s choice? Please raise your hand if you would.”
Earlier this year, the Republican National Committee (RNC) urged all GOP primary candidates to commit to supporting the eventual nominee.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made it clear that this pledge is a prerequisite for participation in the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee.
“If you’re going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say, ‘I’m going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee’,” McDaniel told CNN host Dana Bash.
“Anyone getting on the Republican national committee debate stage should be able to say, ‘I will support the will of the voters and the eventual nominee of our party,’” she added.
On Wednesday night, one by one, the candidates raised their hands, symbolizing their allegiance to the party’s choice, even if that choice were to be former President Trump in the wake of a legal conviction.
The President of the United States doesn’t get to look around for answers, he is the answer.
Ron DeSantis just disqualified himself. pic.twitter.com/wuHZJPCFWy
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) August 24, 2023
Ron DeSantis was one of the last candidates to raise his hand when asked to support Trump.
DeSantis is a COWARD!! pic.twitter.com/kAtXWXLF4w
— Alex Bruesewitz ?? (@alexbruesewitz) August 24, 2023
Only one candidate, Asa Hutchinson, refrained from raising his hand. His decision not to publicly endorse Trump under the given scenario made a clear statement about his stance, setting him apart from his fellow candidates.
“I am not going to support somebody who has been convicted of a serious felony or who has been disqualified under our Constitution and that is consistent with RNC rules and I hope everyone would agree with me,” Asa Hutchinson said.
Asa Hutchinson: “I am not going to support somebody who has been convicted of a serious felony or who has been disqualified under our Constitution and that is consistent with RNC rules and I hope everyone would agree with me.” pic.twitter.com/9Dk3EyXCih
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) August 24, 2023
Last month, Asa Hutchinson stated it is “inappropriate” for his GOP opponents to discuss pardoning former President Donald Trump if he is convicted in federal court.
“That should not be any discussion during a presidential campaign. You don’t put pardons out there to garner votes,” he said. “…Anybody who promises pardons during a presidential campaign is not serving our system of justice well, and it’s inappropriate,” Hutchinson said during an interview with CBS.
Meanwhile, Trump’s interview with Tucker Carlson has garnered 81 Million views and counting.
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