When Republican presidential candidates debate for the first time on Wednesday night, Donald Trump will be conspicuously absent. Now that we know for certain he’s opting out, we took a look back at when he did show up at primary debates to remember what we’ll be missing.
The Republican primary debates leading up to the 2016 presidential election were the first time we saw Trump’s domineering — and spotlight-stealing — debate style. Polls after the first GOP debate in 2015 saw the now-former president still on top of the polls, despite being the “least likable Republican candidate.”
From audience boos to unexpected bromance moments, here are the top five Trump moments that stuck out to us:
Trump lashes out after Megyn Kelly brings up past sexist comments
At the very first debate in 2015, moderator Megyn Kelly pressed Trump to address sexist comments he’s made in the past, including calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump interrupted Kelly while she listed the controversial comments. Kelly corrected Trump and said, “it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell.”
Trump then responded by saying he didn’t “have time for total political correctness.”
“And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you — although I could probably not be, based on the way you have treated me,” he said.
The next day in a CNN interview, Trump continued to slam Kelly for the question, insinuating she had been menstruating.
“She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”
The comment received instant backlash as Erick Erickson revoked an invitation for Trump to speak at his conference later that week.
‘Small hands’: Trump defends the size of his manhood
At one of the final debates before the election, Trump responded to Sen. Marco Rubio’s mocking remarks about the size of his hands.
Earlier on the campaign trail, Rubio (R-Fla.) had taunted Trump by claiming the former president had “small hands” — implying the characterization extends to other parts of his body.
“Look at those hands, are they small hands?” Trump said, raising them for viewers to see. “And, he referred to my hands — ‘if they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
Trump says he won’t pledge to support nominee
Sound familiar? In the first GOP primary debate of 2015, Trump raised his hand when moderator Bret Baier asked whether any candidate was unwilling to support the GOP nominee and to not run an independent campaign against that candidate.
Trump got booed for raising his hand.
“I cannot say I have to respect the person that if it’s not me, the person that wins. If I do win — and I’m leading by quite a bit — that’s what I want to do,” Trump said at the debate.
The former president has again said this time around that he doesn’t intend to sign the loyalty pledge that promises to support the Republican nominee if he loses the GOP presidential primary. The signature is a requirement for attending this year’s first and second debates.
Trump and Bush low-five
At the second GOP debate, an energized Jeb Bush was ready to answer the question of what he would like to be called by the Secret Service if elected president. For Bush, the answer was easy: Eveready.
“Eveready,” he said — and then turned to his right. “It’s very high-energy, Donald.”
Trump, who had repeatedly criticized Bush for being low-energy, turned to Bush and gave him a low-five, which Bush accepted with a smile.
Trump met with boos after shushing Bush
The spotlight was back on Trump and Bush at the eighth GOP debate. During a fiery exchange, Trump shushed Bush when the former Florida governor interrupted Trump on a question regarding eminent domain.
When Bush went to interrupt Trump, Trump turned to him with a finger raised to his lips.
“Quiet,” Trump told Bush. The audience booed, and Trump claimed the booing was because of all of Bush’s wealthy donors in the audience.
“The RNC told us we have all donors in the audience. And the reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money,” Trump said, as the crowd continued to boo.
Powered by WPeMatico