Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopefuls took to a Central Florida stage Saturday to appeal to voters and set themselves apart from the competition -- namely frontrunner former President Donald Trump.
Many in the crowd of more than 3,000 at the Florida Freedom Summit in Kissimmee made their allegiance very clear -- loudly jeering and booing Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy who dared deliver condemnations of the former president.
"Every one of those boos, every one of those cat calls, every one of those yells will not solve one problem we face in this country. Your anger against the truth is reprehensible," he said.
"When you think about the problems that our country and this world is facing, this type of pettiness is beneath the process of electing a president. If your arguments are so strong and mine are so bad, then just keep quiet. Let me make my awful arguments, and then you can just reject them out of hand," he added. "But the problem is you fear the truth. The problem is you want to shout down any voice that says anything different than what you want to hear."
The event, hosted by the Florida GOP, gave the Republican candidates a chance to make their case. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley bowed out at the last minute, citing a family emergency.
The audience also heard from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touting his accomplishments in Florida. Trump closed the evening in a speech that ran over an hour, speaking about his past accomplishments as president, strong ties with world leaders, and calling DeSantis a "wounded falling bird from the sky."