Sunday's Republican debate in New Hampshire was awkward well before the on-stage spats began.

The trouble began, Politico relates, during the candidate introductions to the ABC News event.

As New Jersey Governor Chris Christie walked out on stage, moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz called out Dr. Ben Carson. A camera backstage showed Carson starting to walk out, but he stopped himself once he heard the moderators announce the next candidate, Ted Cruz.

What happened in that awkward intro at the GOP debate?

We were all confused. More on the debate's winners and losers: http://wapo.st/1SVsqqG

Posted by Washington Post on Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cruz walked out, and Carson stayed put as a stage manager tried to wave Carson on stage, Politico reported.

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He didn't move. Donald Trump then walked up next to Carson as his name was called, but also stopped next to Carson.

Marco Rubio was called up next, walking past both Trump and Carson onto the stage, as did Jeb Bush. John Kasich initially didn't make it out onto the stage at all.

The moderators thought they were ready. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican candidates."

But they weren't. "Dr. Ben Carson, please come out on the stage. He's standing there, as well. Dr. Carson.

"And Donald Trump," they added.

Then Carson chimed in. "I can introduce Kasich?"

"Yes, yes, we're going to introduce Ohio governor John Kasich," the moderators said.