SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Republican candidates arrived at the Reagan Presidential Library more than six hours before Wednesday night's debate.
"It's game day, trying to stay loose," said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to a CNN reporter at the entrance in Simi Valley, California. He said he wants "to avoid one of those moments that sends me back home with nowhere to go."
Huckabee who had spent years as a TV political commentator blasted political coverage leading up the second debate as focusing on "one or two candidates" even though the debate field has 15 candidates.
Although the first primaries are more than three months away, political analysts say times are becoming more desperate for many still registering 1 percent or less in national polls. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has already dropped out.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki is one of those candidates in the debate of those lowest in the polls.
"I plan on making some noise!" Pataki said in a Twitter posted Wednesday. He also told CNN that he would combat Trump's harsh view with optimism about America, mirroring the campaign strategy of Ronald Reagan who went on to shape the 1980s as president. "The sky's the limit," Pataki said.
Pataki also had a critique of the campaign being led by billionaire developer Donald Trump's criticism of his opponents including the physical appearance of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and his barbed tweets. Pataki said he has a real idea for America that will embraced by all voters that "can't fit into 140 characters" on Twitter.