The following article, GOP Hopefuls Asked Point-Blank if They'd Support Donald Trump if He Is Nominee While Convicted, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Six of the eight GOP presidential candidates at Wednesday’s debate indicated they would support former President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, even if he is convicted in one of his indictments.
However, some were a lot more enthusiastic than others in their show of support.
“If former President Trump is convicted in a court of law, would you still support him as your party’s choice?” Fox News’ Bret Baier asked the group.
He prefaced his question by reminding the debate participants that they had been required to sign a pledge to support the GOP’s eventual nominee — one of the reasons Trump gave for not participating in the event.
Despite having signed that pledge, two of the candidates — former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — indicated they would withhold their support if Trump is nominated after being convicted.
The other six candidates — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — affirmed their support.
There was a noticeable difference in the speed and enthusiasm with which the candidates responded to the question.
One social media user timed the candidates’ responses with a stopwatch superimposed over a clip of the moment.
How fast did candidates raise their hand when asked if they’d pardon Trump? How quickly did they lower their hand? Let’s see what the stopwatch says (Vivek was very strong on this one) #GOPDebate pic.twitter.com/liySfIaqBe
— Sauna pod (@sauna_pod) August 24, 2023
Ramaswamy was the first to shoot his hand in the air, quickly followed by Haley, Scott and Burgum. The audience cheered loudly.
“[DeSantis], once seen as the most formidable challenger to Mr. Trump, looked to his left, looked to his right and then raised his hand — after the four others had done so,” The New York Times reported. “Mike Pence, Mr. Trump’s vice president, then lifted his, clearly reluctantly.”
Asked by Baier whether he too was signaling agreement to support Trump, Christie denied raising his hand.
“No, I’m doing this,” he said, gesturing with his hand.
Christie then elaborated: “Someone’s got to stop normalizing this conduct.”
“Whether or not you believe that the criminal charges are right or wrong, the conduct is beneath the office of president of the United States,” he said.
Christie was loudly booed for his remarks.
.@VivekGRamaswamy DESTROYS Chris Christie after he refuses to support Trump if he’s convicted.
Vivek to Chris Christie: “Your claim that Donald Trump is motivated by vengeance and grievance would be a lot more credible if your entire campaign were not based on vengeance and… pic.twitter.com/4Bw8NARTVo
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 24, 2023
Hutchinson chimed in, saying he believes Trump is “morally disqualified from being president again as a result of what happened on Jan. 6,” according to Fox News.
Hutchinson said Trump might also be disqualified from the presidency under the 14th Amendment “as a result of the insurrection.”
“Obviously, I’m not going to support somebody who’s been convicted of a serious felony or who has been disqualified under our Constitution and that’s consistent with RNC rules — and I hope everybody would agree,” he added.
Trump has been indicted four times on a total of 91 state and federal criminal charges, according to the New York Post.
The former president and current GOP front-runner has said the charges amount to election interference by hostile officials to keep him from returning to the White House.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.