The candidates were asked if former Vice President Mike Pence did the right thing during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, when he didn’t go along with Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
“I do think that Vice President Pence did the right thing. And I do think that we need to give him credit for that. But what I will also tell you is, when it comes to whether President Trump should serve or not, I trust the American people – let them vote. Let them decide,” Ms Haley said in reference to questions about Mr Trump’s legal woes.
“It is time for a new generational conservative leader. We have to look at the fact that three-quarters of Americans don't want a rematch between Trump and Biden. And we have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can't win a general election that way,” she added.
Before Ms Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered strong support to Mr Pence.
“I'd like to answer the question and not give a pre-canned speech,” he said. “Mike Pence stood for the Constitution, and he deserves not grudging credit – He deserves our thanks as Americans for putting his oath of office and the Constitution of the United States before personal, political and unfair pressure.”
“And the argument that we need to have in this party ... is we have to dispense with the person who said that we need to suspend the constitution to put forward his political career. Mike Pence said no, and he deserves credit for it,” Mr Christie said in reference to Mr Trump.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy called on Mr Pence to commit to pardoning Mr Trump.
“I'm the only candidate on the stage where the courage to move our nation forward,” Mr Ramaswamy argued.
Mr Pence didn’t say whether he would pardon Mr Trump, speaking about his time as governor of Indiana, when he did hand down pardons.
“It usually follows a finding of guilt and contrition by the individual that's been convicted,” he said. “If I'm President of the United States, we will give fair consideration to any pardon request.”
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