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Tags: debate | trump | desantis

DeSantis Will Absorb Opponents' Attacks at Debate With Trump Missing

By    |   Saturday, 19 August 2023 07:28 PM EDT

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will absorb most of his opponents' attacks during the first GOP presidential primary debate this Wednesday with former President Donald Trump out, reports The Hill.

DeSantis is the closest challenger to Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, with the former president leading DeSantis, 54% to 17% in the latest New York Times/Siena poll. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina each scored 3 percent. Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy each received support from 2 percent of those polled.

Trump's move to bail on the debate "should be an opportunity to take on the front-runner; but if Trump doesn't show, then Gov. DeSantis is the front-runner on that stage," GOP donor Dan Eberhart told The Hill.

"He's going to have to be prepared to fend off attacks from the rest of the field.

"It's a smart strategic move by Trump," Eberhart added. "He knows Gov. DeSantis is his most serious challenger. This is a way to let others bruise DeSantis for him."

DeSantis on Saturday denounced a debate prep memo leaked earlier this week from a political action committee supporting his 2024 campaign.

"On the memo, it's not mine. I haven't read it," DeSantis said in a brief Fox News interview Saturday. "It's just something that we have and put off to the side."

The memo, from Never Back Down PAC, suggested to DeSantis he defend Trump and "take a sledgehammer" to Ramaswamy.

"Defend Trump when Chris Christie attacks him," the memo reads, adding a potential line for DeSantis to use on stage in Milwaukee against the former governor of New Jersey: "Trump isn't here so let's just leave him alone. He's too weak to defend himself here. We're all running against him. I don't think we want to join forces with someone on this stage who's auditioning for a show on MSNBC."

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will absorb most of his opponents' attacks during the first GOP presidential primary debate this Wednesday with former President Donald Trump out, reports The Hill.
debate, trump, desantis
322
2023-28-19
Saturday, 19 August 2023 07:28 PM
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