WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rebuked former President Donald Trump Wednesday for suggesting he might skip the first Republican presidential debate in August.
DeSantis, who launched his bid for the White House in May, said in an interview with conservative radio host Howie Carr that «nobody has a right to this nomination,» especially if a candidate skips key events.
“You have to earn the nomination, and doing things like the Family Leader event in Iowa, doing things like these debates, are important parts of the process,” DeSantis said, adding that he will go to Iowa for the conservative event and participate in the first debate. , scheduled for August 23 in Milwaukee.
DeSantis added: «I will be in every discussion because the American people deserve to hear directly from us about our vision for the country.»
The Republican governor noted that Trump lost to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
“The idea that he’s just entitled after that, it just doesn’t make any sense. So you should debate. He should go to all these things and see if he can win it with his vision,» DeSantis said. «I think the people need, every candidate needs to be put to the test, and I think he needs to step up and do it.»
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
NBC News reported in May that Trump was considering skipping the first two debates. The second is scheduled to take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, but a source said at the time that Trump resented the idea of going there because, in part, the library never invited him to speak.
Most recently, NBC reported that Trump is leaning heavily on skipping the first debate and is exploring options for counter-programming during the event.
To secure a place on the debate stage on August 23 in Milwaukee, candidates must meet a number of criteria, including pledging to support the party’s nominee, meeting polling and donor thresholds and not participating in non-public debates. authorized.
abigail brooks contributed.