Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slammed former President Donald Trump for refusing to sign the Republican Party’s “Beat Biden Pledge” in which candidates state that they will support whoever wins the party’s presidential primary.
DeSantis, who trails only Trump in the GOP primary race with all the candidates polling in the low single digits, made the remarks while speaking to reporters in Iowa late this week after the former president said that he would not sign the pledge.
“I mean, you can’t, on the one hand, say that the country’s going in such a bad direction, which we all believe, and then, on the other hand, say you’re just going to take your ball and go home,” DeSantis said. “I’m happy to do that. I’ve voted Republican my whole life.”
“And even though I’m confident we’ll be the nominee, at the end of the day, you respect the judgment of how this works out, and you don’t take your ball and go home,” he continued. “It’s not just about you. It’s about a larger mission that we have to accomplish for Americans.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis says he signed the pledge to support eventual nominee ahead of first debate in Milwaukee: “You can’t on the one hand say the country is going in such a bad direction which we all believe and on the other hand say you’re just going to take your ball and go home?” pic.twitter.com/OrMyVPEb08
— Matt Smith (@mattsmith_news) August 11, 2023
Trump told Eric Bolling on Newsmax this week that one of the “problems” he has with the upcoming Republican debate was having to sign the pledge to get on stage.
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” Trump said. “Why would I sign a pledge? There are people on there that I wouldn’t have.”
“I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, somebody that I endorse,” he added. “So they want you to sign a pledge.”
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Newsmax noted that Trump did not specify which candidates he would never endorse, but he repeatedly attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson during the interview, the outlet added.
“I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president,” Trump told Newsmax host Eric Bolling. “So right there, there’s a problem right there. There’s a problem.”
The “Beat Biden Pledge” that the candidates have to sign states in-part: “Additionally, I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden.”
“I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party,” it added.
Trump told Breitbart News earlier this month that he had not made a decision about whether he would participate in the debate.
The Daily Wire reached out to the Republican National Committee (RNC) to ask if Trump would be allowed to participate in the debates if he did not sign the pledge, and a spokesperson responded by pointing to a statement that chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made several weeks ago.
“Everybody has to sign the beat Biden pledge, everybody, it’s across the board, the rules aren’t changing, we’ve been very vocal with them,” McDaniel told CNN’s Chris Wallace.
The Daily Wire also asked about remarks from Christie, who has suggested that he will sign the pledge but may not honor it later on.
The RNC responded by again pointing to McDaniel’s statement during the CNN interview, in which she said: “It’s not just the pledge, not just a piece of paper. Intent is going to be part of it, too. I think the debate committee is going to meet, and they don’t want somebody saying, ‘I’m blatantly lying.’ You have to say I’m going to support the nominee whomever the voters choose.”
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