Former US president Donald Trump skipped the Wednesday’s presidential debate that saw eight candidates clash in heated exchange.
Republicans who showed up for the debate were Asa Hutchinson, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Others were Mike Pence, Doug Burgum, Tim Scott, and Nikki Haley
Trump’s supporters thought, the debate would be boring without him but the show was lively with other candidates raising issues him.
Trump was very influential in the party during the primary debates back in 2016, but his eight rivals who featured in the debate in Wisconsin, proved they are worth competitors.
Trump had declined to participate in the Republicans debate, claiming that he was the most preferred candidate to represent the party in the coming presidential elections.
Supporters of Trump, maintained their support for the former US president, despite him being implicated in a number of cases, including an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
The candidates used the debate to sell their campaign agenda and declare their intention to oppose Trump as the nominee.
Moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum had a rough time, trying to discourage discussions about Trump, who was absent during the debate.
At some point, a charged audience booed at the moderators, for limiting the time used for mentioning issues about Trump.
“Whether or not you believe that the criminal charges against Trump are right or wrong, the conduct is beneath the office of president of the United States,” Christie shouted at the moderators.
Mike Pence who served as a congressman, a governor and a vice-president, used the opportunity to sell his policies.
Pence defended his decision not to support the overturning of the previous election in Trump’s favor, emphasizing that he upheld his oath to defend the constitution.