Well, the eighth Republican presidential debate on ABC Saturday night got off to a rocky start as the seven remaining GOP contenders stumbled over themselves — and each other — to make it to their podiums. Seriously, what happened during the GOP debate introduction? It was downright odd. Moderators David Muir and Martha Radditz called out each name and it was almost as if the candidates themselves had forgotten what should happen next, which is odd, since they'd done this at least a few times already. (Are we sure this is debate number eight, and not number one thousand?)
Part of the confusion could have come from the fact that, for the first time, almost all the Republican candidates participated in the primetime debate. Just days after the Iowa caucus, the field of players had narrowed enough that nearly all of the Republicans were able to square off in a single round without an early undercard debate (all except Carly Fiorina and Jim Gilmore, that is).
Still, things got really jumbled after Muir and Radditz called New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to his podium. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businessman Donald Trump completely missed their cues and needed multiple calls to finally come on stage. And the moderators nearly forgot to introduce Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The botched introductions and candidate pile-up didn’t go unnoticed by viewers, either. After the awkward entrances were broadcast live by ABC News, Twitter naturally lit up with people wondering what exactly was going on in New Hampshire.
After seven primary debates, the campaigns were probably hoping to find a way to make the debate in New Hampshire stick out in voters’ minds. Certainly, after seven months of heavy campaigning, the GOP candidates’ regular talking points and arguments were probably feeling a bit redundant. Well, within the first minutes, the eighth debate was marked as that time in the 2016 presidential primaries that Trump and Carson caused a pile up behind the scenes and caused everyone to forget about Kasich. Talk about your painful television moments.