Former President Donald Trump criticized the third Republican presidential debate Wednesday, calling it “not watchable” during a rally in Hialeah, Florida.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey took part in a debate hosted by NBC News hosts Kristen Welker, Lester Holt and talk radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Trump skipped the debate, as he did for the previous two debates, instead electing to hold a rally nearby as the GOP candidates faced off against each other.
“I was watching these guys. They’re not watchable,” Trump said. “You know, the last debate was the lowest rated debate in the history of politics. So therefore, do you think we did the right thing by not participating. Somebody said, one of the dumber ones, ‘He doesn’t have the courage to stand up.’ Well, listen, I’m standing in front of tens of thousands of people right now, and it’s on television. That’s a hell of a lot harder to do that then debate. That’s a hell of a lot harder.”
Trump also took aim at Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, calling his neck an “engineering marvel,” and Haley, who he referred to as “birdbrain” and mocked for flip-flopping about running against him in 2024.
Trump holds a huge lead over DeSantis in the RealClearPolitics average, drawing 58.3% of Republican primary voters to 14.6% for DeSantis, with Haley in third place with 9.4% and Ramaswamy in fourth place with 4.4%.
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