GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis finished the second Republican primary debate and promptly suggested another: a one-on-one face-off with former President Donald Trump.
“Since the former president didn’t come here, maybe he’s willing to do one with you and me,” DeSantis told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I think he owes it to our voters to come and make a case.”
“Here’s the thing though, you owe it to the voters to come and make the case. No one’s entitled to anything. You can say, ‘Oh, some poll months before,’ no. You gotta do the case. You owe it to the voters,” added DeSantis from the Reagan Library.
DeSantis’ idea for the Hannity-moderated event with Trump was inspired by the Florida governor’s upcoming 90-minute debate with Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Nov. 30. Newsom attended the GOP California debate on Wednesday night as a surrogate for President Biden’s re-election campaign.
Reached for comment Thursday, the Trump campaign rejected the notion.
“Rob DeSanctimonious? The loser in 5th place in New Hampshire? His pathetic campaign is over. Good night, sweet prince,” Jason Miller, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign, told Fox News Digital.
Trump again opted out of participating in the second GOP debate, instead holding a rally in battleground Michigan to blast President Biden for pushing electric cars amid a labor strike. On stage Wednesday, DeSantis argued that both Presidents Biden and Trump are “missing in action.”
“Where is Joe Biden? He is completely missing in action from leadership,” DeSantis said on stage. “And you know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record, where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt that set the stage for the inflation we have.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie too the former president called for not participating in the debate.
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“Joe Biden hides in his basement and won’t answer why he raised the debt the way he did. And Donald Trump, he hides behind the walls of his golf clubs and won’t come out here to answer questions like all the rest of us are here to answer,” Christie said at the debate. “He put $7 trillion in debt. He should be in the room to answer those questions for the people you’re talking about who are suffering.”