GOP Debate: Nearly All Say They’d Support Trump If He Were Nominee and Convicted

Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey and 2024 Republican presidential candidate,
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

Six out of eight Republican presidential primary candidates said Wednesday at the first GOP debate that they would support former President Donald Trump if he is the party’s nominee and he is convicted.

When debate moderator Bret Baier asked whether they would continue to endorse him as the Republican Party candidate if he was “legally convicted,” six raised their hands.

Those raising their hands were Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Doug Burgum, Ron DeSantis, and Mike Pence.

Ramaswamy was the first to raise his hand, Haley and Scott then raised their hands at the same time, followed by Burgum. After the audience burst into cheers, DeSantis and Mike Pence raised their hands.

Only former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not raise their hands.

WATCH — Hutchinson on Indictments: “Trump Brought a Lot of This on Himself”

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News


Although it first appeared that Christie raised his hand, he said he would not support Trump.

“Someone has to stop normalizing this conduct,” said Christie, to booing from the crowd. “Booing is allowed, but it does not change the truth,” he said. The former governor has been the most vocal of all the candidates in criticizing Trump, while Ramaswamy has been the most supportive.

The show of support for Trump comes despite most of the candidates regularly criticizing him on the campaign trail, and a day before Trump was scheduled to turn himself in to Fulton County, Georgia, authorities after a fourth indictment related to alleged efforts to overturn the states’s 2020 election outcomes.

Although Trump skipped the first debate due to his overwhelming lead among Republican candidates, how they would address his candidacy is an open question.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.