It wasn't clear if the candidates hadn't heard their names called the first time, or if they were waiting until everyone else had walked out, or a combination of both

By Adam Carlson
Updated February 07, 2016 10:00 AM
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ABC News

Saturday’s GOP presidential debate, hosted by ABC News, almost immediately (and literally) tripped over itself, when candidates Ben Carson and Donald Trump failed to walk on stage in the proper order.

The awkwardness began with Carson, who, with the cameras watching, appeared not to have heard his name while he waited in the wings.

And when he did finally start walking out on stage, Sen. Ted Cruz was called. But instead of walking out just before Cruz, Carson chose to turn around, hanging back as the other candidates were called out ahead of him – except Trump.

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Together, Carson and Trump stood in the wings, as the other candidates such as Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush squeezed around them toward the stage.

It wasn’t clear if the candidates hadn’t heard their names called the first time, or if they were waiting until everyone else had walked out, or a combination of both.

But Carson and Trump were finally introduced at the end … leaving Gov. John Kasich briefly forgotten by the moderators. “Should I introduce Kasich?” Rubio asked.

The 2-minute moment was later explained by the moderators as due to the noise of the crowd, though the TV footage from the candidates’ entrance made their name cues sound loud and clear.