CV NEWS FEED // Following the second Republican primary debate Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis challenged former president Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate.
“You know what, maybe we can say, since the former president didn’t come here, maybe he’d be willing to do one with you and I,” DeSantis told FOX News personality Sean Hannity following the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. “I think he owes it to our voters to come and make the case.”
“You’re now challenging, so this is going to be Hannity one-on-one debate central?” the FOX host asked him.
“Let’s do it,” said DeSantis.
“Here’s the thing, though,” the governor added. “[Trump] owes it to the voters to come and make the case. No one’s entitled to anything. You know, you can say, ‘oh, there’s some poll months before’, no. You gotta make the case, you owe it to the voters.”
“I think that that’s what we were able to do and there were some important issues that were discussed tonight,” DeSantis continued:
There’s also others that I know you and I’ve talked about that weren’t discussed. But at the end of the day, I think the thing that was clear for this, there’s a lot of talk, a lot of people have good things to say. I’m the guy that’s done it. In Florida, we did everything I promised.
Hannity is already set to moderate at least one debate featuring DeSantis. A one-on-one debate between the Florida governor and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom is scheduled to take place on November 30 and will air on FOX News.
DeSantis participated in both of the debates, along with most of the other major primary candidates, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott, former ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
One factor in Trump’s decision was his refusal last month to sign the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) “Beat Biden Pledge,” which many have dubbed a “loyalty pledge.”
The pledge was instituted by the RNC as a prerequisite to participate in the primary debates. It was billed as an attempt to unify the party following a disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections.
It states that if the signed candidate does not win the “2024 Republican nomination of President of the United States,” he or she “will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden.”
“Why would I sign it?” Trump said at the time. “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem.”
The former president did not specify who these candidates were. DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Scott, Haley, Pence, and most other Republican presidential candidates signed the pledge.