Former President Trump, who has said he may forgo the GOP primary debates, has a duty to “show up and make his case,” according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis made the statement in response to Eric Bolling of Newsmax asking if Trump should participate in the first debate, which will be sponsored by Fox News and take place on August 23 in Milwaukee.
“Yeah, I think he ought to debate. 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.” DeSantis said.
“Nobody’s entitled to be nominated; you’ve got to earn it. 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.” he continued.
Trump has hinted that he won’t turn there, though he hasn’t stated so clearly.
Even if Trump initiates the attack, DeSantis promised not to be sucked into personal attacks during any next Republican debates.
Late in June, NBC News reported that Trump was considering skipping the GOP debate in favor of holding his own event. Trump has a history of skipping debates.
In 2016, he opted to conduct a fundraiser for veterans in place of the last Republican debate before the Iowa votes.
He later lost the Iowa primary to Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.