Saturday night’s awkward debate opener was a confusing and strange scene. The seemingly simple introduction of candidates to the New Hampshire Republican debate had the hall, media room, and internet in stitches when several candidates failed to walk onto stage when their names were called, reports The Daily Dot.
Most screwed up debate opener ever. Carson just stood there. Candidates had no idea what to do #ABCReally?
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 7, 2016
Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, could be seen smiling and awkwardly standing in the wings as the other candidates trailed past him after he failed to hear his name being called for the 2016 Debate. Carson was the second candidate scheduled to enter onto the stage but evidently did not hear his name being called over the applause for Chris Christie, the first candidate called.
Ben Carson was introduced three times before he eventually went on stage, and Donald Trump, who was caught behind Carson, needed to be called four times, reports the Daily Mail.
ABC News moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz continued to call candidates’ names to the stage for debate as Carson stood confused in full view of the camera. Donald Trump can be seen trying to rectify the awkward situation and paused in the wings to tell Carson he should already be on stage. This added to the confusion as Trump then too missed his own name being called. As other candidate’s names continued to be called, Carson and Trump were pushed past and smirked at, as they were blocking the way to the podiums.
— Independent Journal (@INJO) February 7, 2016
Raddatz introduced all the Republican candidates to the crowd with only four of the seven men taking part in the debate on stage. Applause continued to ring out during the debate opener when Muir noticed the blunder and again called Carson to the stage. “Dr Ben Carson please come out on the stage he is standing there as well, Dr Carson.” Muir said.
Raddatz attempted to call Trump onto the stage at this point as well by tacking him onto Carson’s introduction. Trump awkwardly refused and continued to stand in the wings until his name was called separately. He finally joined the five other candidates but the chaos didn’t end there.
During the confusion of the awkward debate opener John Kasich the Ohio Governor wasn’t called to the stage at all. Marco Rubio can be heard saying, “what about Kasich? Can I introduce Kasich?” before the moderators realize there is still an empty podium and finally introduce him to the stage as well. With all seven candidates on stage the debate was ready to start.
Marco Rubio had to remind the anchors to bring out Gov. John Kasich. Embarrassing.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) February 7, 2016
By this stage Twitter was a buzz with news of the blunder tearing across the internet getting more attention than what the candidates were saying.
WHAT IS GOING ON??????? pic.twitter.com/0J1IhRrISn
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) February 7, 2016
Once the debate started, Carson was again left standing confused and was absent for long periods of conversation before telling the crowd “I’m still here, and I’m not going any place either,” the BBC reports. Trump also continued to have a bumpy experience once the debate got under way and was booed by the audience for telling Jeb Bush to “be quiet.”
Despite being forgotten initially during the awkward debate opener, Kasich was the favourite after Saturdays New Hampshire GOP Republican debate. His socially moderate personality and economically conservative approach are popular with New Hampshire residents. Despite the brisk 30-degree temperatures and cold wind chill, hundreds of GOP partisans showed up outside the debate venue to wave signs, show their support and yell slogans.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]