Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former President Donald Trump’s aversion to participate in tonight’s second Republican primary debate.
The second Republican primary debate, hosted by Fox News, will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
During an appearance on Fox News, DeSantis reiterated his previous stance, saying Trump “owes it to all the voters to show up [to the debate], defend his record and articulate what he would do going forward and what he would might do differently.”
“I think the voters have a right to hear from all the candidates,” the Florida Governor said.
“He’s running in 2024 on a lot of the same promises he ran on in 2016 and didn’t deliver on,” DeSantis said of Trump’s campaign. “He said he was going to drain the swamp. They didn’t drain the swamp at all.”
“He still defends hiring Christopher Wray, he didn’t fire Wray. He didn’t fire Fauci,” he continued. “[Trump] said Mexico was gonna pay for the border wall. That didn’t happen. They started the wall, but we’ve got a lot more to be able to do to finish the wall. He said he was going to eliminate the national debt. They added almost a trillion dollars to the debt in four years, and then remember, he promised to appoint a special counsel for Hillary Clinton, then after the election, two weeks later, he’s like, ‘Oh, no, forget about it, That’s what you say before the election, it’s not what you say after.’”
🔥 DESANTIS on what he would say to Trump on the debate stage if Trump was brave enough to leave his basement:
“He’s running in 2024 on a lot of the same promises he ran on in 2016 and didn’t deliver on.
“He said he was going to drain the swamp. He still defends hiring… pic.twitter.com/Rw4LanJNym
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) September 26, 2023
“So now, he’s saying he’s going to do one for Biden, but he had promised to do that for you in 2016,” Governor DeSantis said. “You’ve got to deliver on these things.”
In August, Trump announced he would not attend any Republican primary debates citing his lead in polls over fellow Republican presidential candidates.
Trump currently maintains a 42-point advantage over DeSantis, according to RealClearPolitics.
“Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES?” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post prior to the first Republican primary debate. “ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a ‘wonderful’ field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary. In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others.”
“People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate?” he asked.
In a separate Truth Social post, the former president confirmed he would not participate in any Republican primary debates.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
In lieu of tonight’s Republican primary debate, Trump will meet with United Auto Workers union in Detroit, Michigan during their strike.