(NEWSER) – You'd have been forgiven for thinking Donald Trump somehow snuck himself onto the GOP undercard debate stage with the amount of time the four lowest-polling candidates spent talking about him.

As Politico put it: "There’s no escaping Donald Trump—even when he’s not on the stage." It his opening statement, George Pataki declared Trump not "fit to be president" and said he "continually demonizes and demeans millions of Americans, and when confronted about it, laughs it off," the Washington Post reports. He later said Trump "is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be our nominee." But he may just have had Trump on the brain, as he later referred to him—perhaps prematurely—as "this president."

Read the full story on

PHOTO: Getty Images