Saturday's GOP Debate got off to a rough start for ABC. But, adding to the awkwardness, the edition of World News Tonight directly before the debate had hyped the preparation that went into that very portion of the night.
As the candidates were being called to the debate stage on February 6, Ben Carson missed his cue, and was left awkwardly waiting in the wings. After his name was called, Trump chose to wait offstage next to Carson. Then, moderator David Muir’s announcement of John Kasich’s name was drowned out by applause, leaving only four candidates on stage when moderator Martha Raddatz announced “ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates.”
On that pre-debate edition of World News Tonight, anchor Cecilia Vega stopped by the debate stage to chat with students who were “playing the role of a lifetime” by standing in for the candidates. Vega commented that just a few hours later, viewers were going to see “all those rivals standing there, waiting side-by-side until their names are called.”
Here’s the video of the practice version of the debate working like a charm:
Here’s the video of the problematic entrance during the actual debate:
ABC’S WORLD NEWS TONIGHT, FEBRUARY 6, 2016
CECILIA VEGA; The long walk to that stage.
MAN: Are you guys ready?
VEGA: And then, all those rivals standing there, waiting side-by-side until their names are called.
ANNOUNCER: Donald Trump.
VEGA: It's rehearsal time today. The fill-ins, students playing the role of a lifetime. As you can see, this is not the real Jeb Bush. I mean -- maybe.
CARSON STAND-IN: I’m a...brain surgeon
You have a good one-liner?
CHRISTIE STAND-IN: I’ve got the kneel down, though.
VEGA: Let's see.
CHRISTIE STAND-IN: I got it down. I'm always staring at Marco when he says something, too.
VEGA: You totally have it down. That's really good. Let's see your best Chris Christie face.