This week, during a town hall meeting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump for refusing to debate prior to the New Hampshire primary.
DeSantis delivered the statement during a CNN town hall meeting subsequent to his second-place finish in this week’s Iowa primaries, trailing only former President Donald Trump.
Haley secured the third position. Both DeSantis and Haley had lavished more than $30 million on advertising for the state; pro-DeSantis expenditures reached $35 million, while pro-Haley expenditures reached $37 million, the highest of any candidate.
“The tradition here with first-in-the-nation is something that’s very significant. I agreed to do a debate with WMUR and ABC on Thursday, and with CNN on Sunday. I’m the only candidate that actually agreed to come to New Hampshire to debate, and what does that say? We have four candidates for president now: Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and me.” DeSantis said.
“I’m the only one who’s not running a basement campaign at this point. You deserve, as a voter, to have the candidates come up, answer your questions in forums like this, have somebody like Wolf moderate a debate where you go back and forth…we’ve gotten away from, ‘Hey, let’s make let people make these decisions’ to almost like, you know, just let the media coverage determine what’s going on. I don’t think that’s what we want in a republican form of government.” he continued.
I’m the only one who’s not running a basement campaign at this point.
You deserve to have the candidates come up and answer your questions in forums like this. pic.twitter.com/Nc46nrxqaU
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) January 17, 2024
DeSantis also criticized Haley for failing to finish in the top two in Iowa, noting that he finished second despite confronting an unprecedented $50 million in negative attack advertisements.