DeSantis Attacks Trump's Record Ahead of Second Debate

DeSantis Attacks Trump's Record Ahead of Second Debate

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
September 27, 2023

The second 2024 GOP Primary debate will be held tonight in California, with frontrunner Donald Trump once again not appearing. Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), considered his biggest rival, spoke with Fox News's Laura Ingraham ahead of the debate, explaining how he intends to close the gap and deliver where Trump did not.

Ingraham began by pointing out the massive lead Trump has over Gov. DeSantis in the polls, the most recent by CBS putting him at 13% to Trump's 50 in New Hampshire. Gov. DeSantis' answer suggested he was not bothered, instead saying "We are not going to get a mulligan on the 2024 Election. We have had three straight election cycles in a row where Democrats had a playbook to beat Republicans. And if we repeat that same playbook in '24, we are going to lose."

DeSantis pointed at his record as Governor of Florida as evidence he was "the only guy running that can say everything I promised my voters I would do, I delivered 100% of the promises." Ingraham countered by pointing at the economy under President Trump, asking how DeSantis could do better.

"You kind of acted like COVID does not matter," DeSantis answered, "[Trump] made the decision to turn the country over to Anthony Fauci. Those decisions, I think, were bad; they were mistaken decisions. But that led to the borrowing and printing of trillions of dollars. They did $4.2 trillion just in 2020 before Biden took office. Of course, Biden added gas to the fire."

Additionally, DeSantis pointed out Trump's refusal to admit to wrongdoing on COVID while he was "listening to them, and then after a few weeks, I was like, "this is not right," and we went in our own direction."

Ingraham agreed with that as she was "one of the biggest Fauci detractors," but said the gap is still not closing for DeSantis. As such, she asked what he would do if Trump were on the debate stage to get that possible lead over him in the polls.

"I think it is interesting that he is not willing to stand on that stage," answered DeSantis, "I think he owes it to all the voters to show up, defend his record, articulate what he would do going forward, what [he] might do differently. And he is not willing to do that."

Moreover, DeSantis suggested Trump is "running in 2024 on a lot of the same promises he ran on in 2016 and did not deliver on," such as draining the Swamp, not firing FBI Director Christopher Wray (whom he still defends hiring), or Fauci, not finishing the border wall, adding $8 trillion to the national debt he said he would reduce, and refusing to prosecute Hillary Clinton after the 2016 Election.

"I think this election is for our generation because we are in danger of leaving to our kids and grandkids an America that is less free and less prosperous than the one we inherited," DeSantis concluded.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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