On Thursday, Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis stated firmly that he will participate in the Republican presidential debate scheduled in August whether or not former President Trump shows up.
“Donald Trump has said, I believe, he won’t debate in August; he’s not planning to attend the Republican debate,” Fox News host Will Cain noted. “If he does not show up to debate, will you be at the debate?”
“I’ll be there, regardless,” DeSantis asserted. “I hope everybody who is eligible comes. I think it is an important part of the process, and I look forward to being able to be on the stage and introducing our candidacy and our vision and our leadership to a wide audience.”
NBC News reported in late June that Trump was thinking of evading the GOP debate and scheduling something featuring him instead. Trump has acted similarly before; in 2016, he wouldn’t join the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses, instead holding a fundraiser for veterans. He subsequently lost the Iowa caucuses to Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz.
DeSantis slammed President Biden’s economic record, saying, “Bidenomics in a nutshell is you pay more for the necessities of life, your standing of living goes down, the government gets more and more powerful, and ultimately China will benefit.”
“We rejected Bidenomics; we governed conservatively; we don’t spend our state into oblivion,” he said of his home state. “We run big-budget surpluses; we’ve actually paid down billions of dollars in state debt. … We don’t let criminals run the street; we should not allow that in any place in this country. We respect the rights of parents; every parent’s rights throughout the country should be respected; it doesn’t matter if you live in a red or blue state. We’ve gotten indoctrination out of our curriculum.”
“You can theoretically have good economic policy, but if you have San Francisco-style social policy, everything’s gonna end up decayed,” he said.
When he was asked about the present poll numbers showing him trailing Trump, DeSantis, who reputedly focuses on elections in a very detailed way, noted, “Did you just see the news today about the record fundraising haul we’ve had? Nobody’s been able to match that in the history of modern presidential politics. We’ve got a huge amount of support to be able to take the case to the people. We really haven’t started that yet; we’re in the process of building out a great organization … we’re going to be on the ground in all these early states. It is a three yards and a cloud of dust-type situation.”
He also pointed out why his candidacy’s potential could be measured by the fear shown by the Left, saying, “I think if you look at the people like the corporate media, who are they going after? Who do they not want to be the nominee? They’re going after me. Who is the president of Mexico attacking because he knows we will be strong on the border, to hold him accountable and the cartels? He is going after me. So, I think if you look at all these people that are responsible for a lot of the ills in our society, they are targeting me as the person they don’t want to see as the candidate.”
“I’m the guy that not only can beat Biden, I’m the guy that can beat the Left on all these different issues because people’s freedoms are under assault,” he opined. “We had to fight all these people in Florida. Of any Republican in the country, I have the best record of defeating the Left on issue after issue.”
DeSantis pointed to the overwhelming victory he engineered in his reelection bid in 2022, in which he won a whopping 19-point victory:
“At the end of the day, people want to win, and you can’t win with just Republican voters,” he said. “I think we showed in Florida, if you want a big victory, you gotta win independent voters, you gotta win people who haven’t voted for our party in the last several cycles. I’ve shown I can do that, and I think we can do it nationally.”