Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s performance during a primetime debate Sunday helped keep his campaign afloat, amid dozens of weekend defections from the GOP. 

“He prevented the crash last night. He was headed… over the edge, because his party was deserting him,” Krauthammer said. “All those defections, the governors and senators and members of Congress. Remember, when Nixon resigned, it was not right after the Supreme Court ordered him to release the tapes. It was when Barry Goldwater and the delegation from the Congress went to Nixon and said, 'It's over, you've got to resign.' And the next day, he announced his resignation.”

Krauthammer described the desertion by Republicans a “flight to the exits,” but said the debate steadied the campaign to a degree.

“It looks as if [Trump] stopped the bleeding,” he said.

Krauthammer added that Trump’s leaked audio has cost his campaign much-needed time.

“He's behind… He used a debate that he could have used to close the gap to simply hold the campaign together,” he concluded.