Governor Ron DeSantis Throws Down Gauntlet with Trump – Watch
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has urged former President Donald Trump to join the upcoming Republican presidential debate.
DeSantis, who is seen as a potential challenger to Trump in 2024, said that Trump should “show up and make his case” to the American people.
“Yeah, I think he ought to debate,” DeSantis said. “I’m going to debate; I’m going to be there. It’s a great opportunity for us to have a great discussion about the country’s future.”
“Nobody’s entitled to be nominated; you’ve got to earn it,” DeSantis added. “And I think he should show up and make his case and answer questions like the rest of us. At the end of the day, this country’s in decline. We all see that, we all know that. I’m running because I want to reverse the decline.”
Trump has not yet announced whether he will participate in the debate, which is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 9. However, he has been critical of the debate’s format, saying that it is unfair to him.
“They’re trying to rig the debate,” Trump said in a recent interview. “They’re trying to keep me out.”
DeSantis dismissed Trump’s claims, saying that the debate is “a fair opportunity for all the candidates to participate.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the American people to hear from the candidates,” DeSantis said. “And I think it’s important for the candidates to show up and make their case.”
“When I announced my candidacy in May I was asked questions about Trump criticizing me,” he said. “I hit back very directly but it was on substance. I’m not going to attack him personally. I’m not going to call him names. I’m not gonna do that. That’s just not my style, not my cup of tea.”
DeSantis said that, if elected president in 2024, he intends to hit the ground running.
“We’re gonna spit nails,” he said. “We’re gonna bring all this stuff in for a landing and the country will be better off for it.”
The debate is being hosted by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and it is expected to be one of the most important events of the Republican primary season.