Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is urging former President Trump to participate in the upcoming GOP presidential debate, stating in an interview, “he needs to step up and do it.”
“Nobody is entitled to this nomination. You have got to earn it, and events like The Family Leader event in Iowa and these debates are essential parts of the process,” DeSantis emphasized on “The Howie Carr Show.”
DeSantis will be one of the GOP candidates who will join a forum in Iowa organized by Tucker Carlson, former Fox News host. However, the Trump campaign mentioned a scheduling conflict.
During the interview, DeSantis also criticized Trump for not fulfilling his promises during his first term in office, such as “draining the swamp” and “building the wall.”
“He should debate and participate in these events to see if he can earn the nomination with his vision,” DeSantis stated.
DeSantis also noted that some of Trump’s proposed ideas, such as parents electing school principals, are not good ideas.
In response, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung criticized DeSantis in an email to The Hill, claiming that the governor should focus on his own struggling campaign instead of throwing a temper tantrum because of his poor performance.
DeSantis’s comments come as Trump has not yet confirmed whether he will take part in the party’s first presidential debate, scheduled for August 23rd in Milwaukee.
Some Republican contenders have raised concerns about the criteria required to qualify for the debate, including signing a loyalty pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee.
Trump has not committed to supporting the Republican nominee if it is not himself.