(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Florida Gov. and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s super PAC, Never Back Down, released an advertisement attacking former President Donald Trump’s refusal to attend Fox News’ first GOP primary August 23rd debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Republican National Committee set the qualifying requirements that a candidate must reach at least 1% in three or more eligible polls, gather at least 40,000 donors, and pledge to support the GOP nominee. So far, Trump, DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have met these requirements.
Trump remains the Republican frontrunner, which makes it a strategic move not to attend the debate, preventing any potential hits from landing. However, the DeSantis PAC frames this as a weakness, using Trump’s rhetoric against him. Previously, Trump had made comments mocking the Democrats for refusing to debate him, which DeSantis is using to paint Trump as cowardly and lacking stamina.
However, Trump now must turn himself in on RICO charges due to the fourth indictment the former President has received. This is due to another grand jury indictment, now alleging Trump is guilty of racketeering, fraud, and other efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The prosecution against Trump will make him surrender at the Fulton County Jail, where he will have a mugshot taken and processed like other defendants.
Despite this, Trump maintains a dominant lead over DeSantis. According to FiveThirtyEight aggregate polling, Trump leads with about 53.7%, DeSantis at 15.0%, Ramaswamy at 7.2%, Pence at 5.6%, Haley at 3.8%, Christie at 2.9%, Scott at 2.5%, and Burgum at 0.5%. With an almost 40-point lead over the opposition, Trump’s decision not to debate is motivated by maintaining his status as a frontrunner by staying out of unnecessary political fray and being forced into legal conflict amid the political campaign. How pundits could assess the performance of candidates who attend has yet to be seen.
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