Donald Trump did not appear on stage at last week’s GOP debate.
But Trump was there in spirit.
And Republican candidates were humiliated when the debate audience started chanting this one name.
NBC hosts Lester Holt and Kristen Welker moderated the third Republican Presidential Primary debate last Wednesday in Miami.
Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley participated in the debate while Donald Trump opted to hold his own counter rally down the street.
Even though Trump was not at the debate, he was a hot topic of discussion among GOP candidates on stage.
In fact, the first question of the night went to Ron DeSantis and was about Donald Trump’s absence at the debate.
“He owes it to you to be on this stage and explain why he should get another chance,” DeSantis said.
The Florida Governor then ripped Trump and told the audience that “he should explain why he didn’t have Mexico pay for the border wall” and “he should explain why he racked up so much debt” and “he should explain why he didn’t drain the Swamp.”
Nikki Haley echoed DeSantis’ sentiment and also blasted Trump for running up trillions of dollars in debt.
“Everybody wants to talk about President Trump,” Haley said. “Well, I can talk about President Trump.”
“I can tell you that I think he was the right President at the right time,” she continued, before adding that “I don’t think he’s the right President now.”
“I think the fact that he used to be right on Ukraine and foreign issues, now he’s getting weak in the knees and trying to be friendly again,” she said. “I think that we’ve got to go back to the fact that we can’t live in the past, we can’t live in other headlines.”
But the debate audience apparently did not feel the same way about Donald Trump as Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.
During one commercial break, the crowd erupted into chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
“The crowd at the third Republican primary debate loudly chanted support for former President Donald Trump during a commercial break,” Breitbart reported. “The overt support for Trump, the leading candidate in the GOP primary by a wide margin, indicated that none of the five candidates present at the debate had the same amount of support.”
JUST IN – Crowd at the Republican debate started chanting "Trump! Trump! Trump!"
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 9, 2023
The latest polls show Donald Trump still holding a massive lead over the rest of the field, which is the top reason he cited for skipping the first three debates.
And based on the reaction of the crowd, the polls are an accurate reflection of GOP voters.