None of the Republican primary candidates attending the 2024 debate Wednesday night were willing to answer which among them should be “voted off the island.”
The candidates refused to name anyone onstage they believe should be ousted from the race, and even criticized the moderators’ final question as being “disrespectful.” The moderators had instructed the candidates to write down their answer on the notepad in front of them.
“Are you serious?” former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley asked.
“With all due respect, I mean we’re here, we’re happy to debate. I think that that’s disrespectful to my fellow competitors,” Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
All of the candidates refused to participate in the vote.
Fox News’ Dana Perino then asked how DeSantis plans to defeat the race’s current frontrunner, former President Donald Trump, who did not attend the debate. (RELATED: Listen To The Crowd Go Mild As Chris Christie Tries To Nickname Donald Trump)
“Polls don’t elect presidents, voters elect presidents,” DeSantis said. “And we’re gonna take the case to the people in these early states, we’re gonna go by a state by state direction and why, because as Reagan said in his day, ‘this is our time for choosing.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie later said Trump should be voted out of the race, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy said while he is grateful for Trump’s leadership, it is time for a new leader to step into the Oval Office.
DeSantis and Christie both criticized Trump for refusing to attend the debate. The former president also declined to attend the first debate in August, citing his poll numbers and legislative accomplishments.
Trump holds a 54% lead in the primary race, holding a significant lead above all of his opponents, according to FiveThirtyEight. DeSantis leads in second place with nearly 14%, while Haley and Ramaswamy are tied for third with 6.3%.