Attacks on Trump more welcome at second debate

While focusing more on Republican priorities and attacking President Biden, the Republican candidates also attacked Trump.

Christie addressed Trump directly, accusing him of skipping the debate out of fear. He said Trump deserves a new nickname: "Donald Duck."

Unlike at the last debate in Wisconsin where his attacks on Trump were shouted down, Christie actually received a few giggles to his critical comments.

DeSantis also took an early swipe at Trump for skipping the debate.

"You know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action," DeSantis said. "He should be on this stage tonight.

Trump has missed the last two debates because of his refusal to sign an RNC pledge stating that he will support whoever primary voters chose as their nominee in 2024.

DeSantis also partially blamed Trump and his policies for the looming federal shutdown. DeSantis played a key role in the 17-day shutdown in 2013.

Later, he tore into Trump’s remarks calling Florida’s six-week abortion ban "terrible."