Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate began in chaos as several candidates didn’t come on stage as ABC News moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz called their names.
Dr. Ben Carson came to the mouth of a backstage hallway at St. Anselm College too early, as his name was to be the second called. With applause ringing through the hall for Chris Christie, he never heard his name.
Carson stopped just short of entering and was stranded in no-man’s land and in view of a TV camera trained on the entryway.
Before he could figure out what to do, Ted Cruz’s name was called. And then Donald Trump’s.
Trump stopped to stand with Carson, seeming to tell him that he should already have been on stage.
When Marco Rubio’s and Jeb Bush’s names were announced, the two men were still blocking their way. They had to sneak past, with Jeb smirking and bumping into Trump on his way out.
John Kasich, the last person to be called, also never heard his name in the noise. But the moderators never noticed – only calling out for Carson to come to the stage.
‘Dr. Ben Carson! Please come out onto the stage! He’s standing there as well,’ Muir said as Trump finally left Carson standing at the altar and took his place.
After a calm and cool Carson finally took his place, Kasich was still left in the wings. He entered last instead of first – but Chris Christie had to remind the anchors that Kasich was still waiting.
‘What about Kasich? Can I introduce Kasich?’ Christie asked as laughs rang out.
‘It was so noisy in here. Yes. Yes. We’re going to introduce Ohio Governor John Kasich,’ Muir said.
Carson later said he came out at the right time but seemed not to know that his name as called at the right time. ‘I wasn’t introduced number-two, which was the plan,’ Carson said on stage.
With the shambolic introductions out of the way, the debate exploded into life, with feisty exchanges between Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, before Donald Trump and Jeb Bush squared up once again.
The candidates also tackled the issue of a nuclear North Korea after announcements earlier this evening that the Communist state had conducted logn-range missile tests over Japan.
While Cruz said he would defer any decision until he had seen intelligence reports, Trump advocated bringing the Chinese on board in order to apply pressure.
Sticking with the issue of national security, Cruz then defended his call to ‘carpet-bomb’ ISIS, though said it could be done without unnecessary civilian casualties by targeting oil fields and military installations.
Picking up on the issue of targeting oil reserves, Trump, who has long-championed that position, said the way to cripple ISIS was not militarily, but through their wallet.
Instead of force, Trump advocated taking their oil and hitting them through the banking system.
The majority of candidates agreed for the need for tougher interrogation techniques for terror prisoners, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning.
Read more: Daily Mail