DeSantis Camp Responds to Trump Debate Decision: ‘No One’ Entitled to Nomination

A spokesman for Gov. Ron DeSantis’s 2024 campaign responded Sunday to former President Donald Trump’s decision not to attend the GOP primary debates. Just hours before, Trump confirmed his decision, saying that the “public knows” who he is and ending months-long speculation over whether he would attend.

The campaign’s communications director Andrew Romeo tweeted, “No one is entitled to this nomination, including Donald Trump. You have to show up and earn it.” Romeo replied to an image of Trump’s Truth Social post. “Ron DeSantis is looking forward to being in Milwaukee Wednesday to share his vision for what he will do as president to reverse our decline and lead an American revival.”

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The former President had hinted previously that he might choose to skip out on the first primary debate, similar to how he skipped the January 2016 debate during a feud with Fox News and anchor Megyn Kelly. Surprisingly, Trump appeared to indicate that he would miss all of this election cycle’s primary debates.

On Guy Benson’s Fox Radio show last week, DeSantis was personally asked about the possibility of Trump sitting out the debates.

“It kind of makes sense potentially for him then not to participate in a debate,” Benson told DeSantis. “His whole thrust of his candidacy, the way they’re running it, basically, is as if he’s an incumbent. They’re running as if he’s the incumbent, which he’s not, obviously.”

“What’s the argument that he should come and debate you and the others?” he asked the Florida Governor.

“Because you have to earn this nomination. Nobody’s entitled to it. You got to get up there and you got to answer questions. You got to be able to defend your record.” ~ Gov. Ron DeSantis on Aug. 16, 2023

“He owes it to people to go up there and debate,” DeSantis added.

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While Trump currently leads the GOP field in national polls, the former President wrote on his Truth Social page,

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”

Other GOP candidates that have qualified for the debate include former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, Sen. Tim Scott, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, businessman Perry Johnson, and commentator Larry Elder.

Most of those candidates have either signed or pledged to sign the GOP loyalty pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee ultimately. Frontrunner Donald Trump has not stated any intention to sign the pledge. He abandoned a similar commitment when he ran in 2016, saying he would not make a blanket promise to support the nominee.

“No, I don’t anymore,” Trump said during the 2016 CNN town hall. “No, we’ll see who it is.”

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