With former President Donald Trump refusing to debate the rest of the field of 2024 Republican presidential candidates—citing his large lead in all national public opinion polls as his reasoning for declining to debate—Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to press the former president to show up to debates, and or debate him in a “1-on-1” debate format.
During a town hall-style appearance on NewsmaxTV, Governor DeSantis, challenged former President Donald Trump to a 1-on-1 debate on the conservative news network.
Gov. DeSantis took a subtle swipe at the Republican National Committee (RNC), saying that the doesn’t believe that the Republican Party is ‘necessarily the right way’ to go about conducting presidential primary debates.
The RNC has been under heavy scrutiny by Republican voters over the current string of election night losses across the country. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy event called RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to resign during the second GOP debate in Miami, Florida in early November.
“We need to have debates. Whether it’s the RNC should be the ones that are controlling that, I don’t know if that’s necessarily the right way, but that’s how it's gone,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Maybe as we get forward, maybe there will be more freewheeling debates?”
DeSantis continued his effort to poke at President Trump’s ego by calling him to show up for the debates, saying that voters, who decide the eventual presidential nominee, should be afforded the opportunity to see all of the respective presidential candidates address issues that affect Americans.
Earlier in the week, Trump called for all RNC presidential debates to be canceled.
“RNC should immediately put an end to any further primary debates so we can train our fire on Crooked Joe Biden and quit wasting time and money that could be going to evicting Biden from the White House,” stated his campaign manager Chris LaCivita.
“I just, I find it funny people say cancel debates and stuff. Last time I checked, the people decide who they want to nominate, and who they want to elect, and Iowans are going to get a chance to do that,” added DeSantis.
On November 30 in Georgia, DeSantis will debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the Fox News Channel show, “Hannity.”
DeSantis then went on to suggest that a formal presidential debate was needed in Iowa before the caucus on January 15, 2024, and in New Hampshire before that month's primary election, before saying that a smaller field of candidates would make for a better debate.
“Hopefully Donald Trump and whoever wants to be the third can come. I mean that's fine, but I do think he should debate. I think he owes it to the people to debate. He needs to prove that that that he's going to be able to handle this,” concluded DeSantis.
The latest Realclearpolitics.com national average of polls shows Trump leading DeSantis by 44.5%.
In Iowa, the latest Iowa State University/Civiqs poll shows Trump has increased his lead in the Hawkeye State by 10 percentage points, but DeSantis has increased his lead over Ambassador Nikki Haley, who has dropped a few points.