Ron DeSantis is getting roasted for a “humiliating” moment during Wednesday night’s GOP debate. The Florida governor can be clearly seen looking to see how the other candidates responded before raising his hand. It was not exactly a profile in courage.
While having candidates respond to questions by raising their hands has fallen out of style in political debates, Fox News leaned heavily on the tactic particularly for questions involving Donald Trump. The former president very publicly snubbed the debate for an interview with Tucker Carlson, but he was still the topic of discussion for much of the evening. The awkward DeSantis moment came when moderator Bret Baier asked the candidates about Trump’s mounting legal troubles.
“You all signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee,” Baier said. “If former President Trump is convicted in a court of law, would you still support him as your party’s choice? Please raise your hand if you would like.”
DeSantis was notably slow to react. Via Newsweek:
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy raised his hand first, closely followed by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
DeSantis, who has long been thought to be Trump’s main rival in the GOP primary and has been the subject of repeated attacks and mockery from the former president, looked to his left and right at the other candidates before also raising his hand.
Going into the debate, DeSantis was still the second place candidate, so it didn’t take long for Twitter to have a field day with his inability to take a stand without seeing how the crowd reacted to his opponents. The Florida governor was widely roasted as the clip bounced around social media.
You can see some of the reactions below:
Still can't get over DeSantis clearly waiting to see how everyone else responds before raising his hand. pic.twitter.com/4HvCoIrqmA
— Keya Vakil (@keyavakil) August 24, 2023
Every Republican except for Christie and Hutchinson said they would support Trump if he were convicted. DeSantis looked around first to see how others answered and then raised his hand late. A very humiliating moment.
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) August 24, 2023
WOW – Ron had to check out the rest of the stage to decide whether or not to raise his hand.
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) August 24, 2023
DESANTIS LOOKED AT THE OTHERS BEFORE RAISING HIS HAND
— Drew Savicki (@DrewSav) August 24, 2023
when the moderator asked everyone to put their hands up if they'd still endorse Trump post conviction, DeSantis looked both ways before raising his hand. that's the kind of leadership Americans respect
— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@IwriteOK) August 24, 2023
This is amazing. The question: Please raise your hands if you would support Trump if Trump is convicted. A bunch of hands go up immediately. DeSantis timidly looks around first, then raises his hand. Chris Christie timidly raises his hand. Only Asa Hutchinson does not raise his… https://t.co/Pu4ktslMJU
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 24, 2023
Watch DeSantis checking if it's okay to raise his hand. pic.twitter.com/SKhsC9SEAU
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) August 24, 2023
Ron DeSantis raising his hand to support Trump like 5 seconds after the audience applauded the other people who did it immediately is so funny. such chickenshit “I’ll also have a Sam Adams!” behavior
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) August 24, 2023