In a recent interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” former President Donald Trump hinted that he may not participate in any upcoming GOP debates. As the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024, Trump made sure to take a few shots at his closest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Sunday Show Smackdown: Trump Implies He Won't Debate, DeSantis Hits Him on the Issues – RedState https://t.co/jzQzNe5w9G
— Grinch bearybear (@grinchberry1) July 17, 2023
Trump confessed that he took DeSantis’ decision to run personally because he endorsed him in his first campaign for governor. But now that Trump is ahead in the polls by a significant margin, he sees no reason to debate. After all, as he pointed out, even Ronald Reagan didn’t participate in debates.
Trump strongly suggests to Maria Bartiromo that he will not participate in the first GOP debate pic.twitter.com/3l3Xpc8mT6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 16, 2023
Ron DeSantis torches Donald Trump on policy:
"He promised to drain the swamp. It got worse. He did not drain the swamp. He promised to have the Mexico pay for a border wall. They did, like, 50 miles of wall. There's massive expanses still there. He said he was going to… pic.twitter.com/w3KviDc2D5
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) July 16, 2023
In typical Trump fashion, he couldn’t resist throwing some shade at DeSantis, referring to him as “Ron DeSanctis” and “DeSanctimonious.” Trump made it clear that he sees no reason to debate someone who is trailing so far behind in the polls. If you’re leading by 50 or 60 points, why allow someone at zero or one or two to ask you questions?
When asked if he’s concerned that DeSantis could gain more support through a successful debate, Trump simply responded that DeSantis is actually losing ground. Trump even praised other candidates like Vivek Ramaswamy, suggesting that they have done a good job and he hasn’t made up his mind yet.
On the other hand, DeSantis appeared on “Media Buzz” and didn’t hold back his criticism of Trump. He accused Trump of failing to deliver on his promises, particularly in draining the swamp and having Mexico pay for a border wall. DeSantis also blamed Trump for the country’s increasing national debt and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While DeSantis may have some valid points, his argument against the border wall falls short. Despite intense opposition from Democrats, Trump managed to build almost 500 miles of walls. The only reason there isn’t more is because President Biden shut down the operation as soon as he took office.
It’s hard to argue with Trump’s decision not to debate when he has such a commanding lead in the polls. However, it would be interesting to see him and DeSantis go head to head. Both are intelligent and quick on their feet, and DeSantis is starting to ramp up his critiques. It’s in the public’s best interest for Trump to face tough questions and be prepared if he becomes the nominee. As the saying goes, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We need the strongest candidate in the ring in November 2024.
Trump’s strategy of avoiding debates may work in his favor as he maintains his lead in the polls. It would be a waste of time for him to debate someone who is trailing so far behind. Plus, let’s be honest, debates can be full of political theater and soundbites rather than substantive discussions. Trump has shown that he can connect with voters and deliver his message effectively without the need for a debate. As for DeSantis, his criticisms of Trump may resonate with some voters, but it’s unclear if it will be enough to sway Trump’s supporters. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to debate should be left up to the candidates, and Trump has made it clear where he stands.