Ann Turner
August 13, 2023

DeSantis Criticizes Trump Over GOP Debate Pledge Refusal

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has expressed disappointment in former President Donald Trump's decision not to sign the GOP debate pledge.

DeSantis has openly criticized former Trump. This comes after Trump's refusal to sign the GOP candidate's vow to commit to supporting the eventual nominee of the party.

Fox News reported on DeSantis' comments made during a press interaction in Iowa. The Florida governor emphasized that he had signed the pledge, thereby securing his spot in the debate.

DeSantis Stresses Party Unity and Commitment

DeSantis expressed his concerns about Trump's stance. He mentioned that while many believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, it's essential to stay committed to the party's goals.

"Really? So, you know, I'm happy to do that. I've voted Republican my whole life," DeSantis remarked. He further added that even if he's confident of becoming the nominee, it's crucial to respect the party's decision-making process.

Trump's Reluctance to Sign the Pledge

The former president, for his part, has been vocal about his reluctance to sign a loyalty pledge to the Republican Party. This has raised questions about his participation in debates with other GOP candidates.

In a recent interview with Newsmax, Trump shared his reservations. He questioned the need to sign a pledge when there are candidates he wouldn't endorse.

"I wouldn't have certain people as, you know, somebody that I endorse. So, they want you to sign a pledge," Trump stated. He further highlighted that there are at least three or four individuals he wouldn't support for the presidency.

Debate Participation Criteria Under Scrutiny

Trump also expressed his dissatisfaction with the criteria for participating in the Republican debate. He took issue with the low threshold regarding polling percentages and national support.

"You look at the debate, and they want you to debate, but you're debating — it's not really fair — somebody like Asa Hutchinson, who's polling at zero percent, will ask me nasty questions," Trump commented. He also mentioned other candidates like Chris Christie, who, according to him, would pose challenging questions.

Historical Precedence of Skipping Primary Debates

The former president also brought up instances from the past. He cited decisions by previous Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon to skip primary debates.

However, it's essential to note that political parties have historically refrained from holding presidential primary elections when they already control the White House. Given that Trump is not the current president, the GOP primary election is still scheduled to take place.

- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticizes former President Donald Trump for not signing the GOP debate pledge.
- DeSantis emphasizes the importance of party unity and commitment.
- Trump shares his reservations about signing a loyalty pledge and expresses dissatisfaction with the debate participation criteria.
- Historical instances of Republican presidents skipping primary debates have been cited.

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