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Tipsheet

DeSantis's 'Devastating' Moment During First GOP Debate

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is being criticized over his response to a question about whether he will support former President Trump if he is both the Republican Party’s presidential nominee and a convicted criminal. 

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It was not a question posed solely to the Florida Republican, but one presented to the all the candidates. 

"You all signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee," moderator Bret 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.”

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy quickly showed his support, followed by former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota.  

DeSantis looked to his left and right, however, before raising his hand in what critics say was a “devastating” moment for the candidate. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence hesitated before lifting his hand. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie raised his finger, only to say later that he wanted to explain why he wouldn't support a convicted Trump. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, meanwhile, kept his hands down. 

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Trump's campaign highlighted the moment, calling it "pathetic," while other conservatives argued it will be a "defining moment" of his campaign. 



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