With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley engaged in a battle for second place in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race, some prominent conservatives are interested in seeing them participate in a one-on-one debate.
In fact, Fox News Channel personality Laura Ingraham recently announced that she would be willing to moderate such an event and host it during her own prime-time program.
Fox News' @IngrahamAngle wants to host a debate between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
"That's what we need to see at this point, and I think America would like to see that as well." pic.twitter.com/copaKI8mtp
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) November 15, 2023
During an interview with Ingraham on Monday, DeSantis, who is set to debate Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Fox News later this week, signaled his willingness to take part in a debate against Haley.
As for why Haley has not agreed to participate, the Florida governor shared his theory.
“Well, she probably wouldn’t like what the debate would be about,” he said. “I mean, I think she has taken very, very establishment-oriented positions.”
He sought to juxtapose his stance on debates with those of his nearest rival, adding: “I’ll debate any of these folks. I think that’s what it is all about.”
To be fair, there could be another issue impacting Haley’s reluctance to take Ingraham up on the offer. The Republican National Committee required candidates to sign a pledge rendering them ineligible for any future RNC debates if they take part in a debate not sanctioned by the committee.
The fourth GOP primary debate is set for Dec. 6 and, as of the latest updates available, DeSantis, Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy have been confirmed as participants. Like in the first three, front-runner Donald Trump is planning to skip the debate.
Of course, DeSantis was not so generous in his interpretation of Haley’s motives, asserting that she is relying on the “liberal media” to provide cover as she runs on a platform antithetical to many closely held Republican ideals.
“She’s also said no limits on immigration, that CEOs should determine our immigration policy,” he told Ingraham. “Now, I think immigration policy should be what’s in the best interest of the American people and American workers. She also took the side of Disney against the state of Florida and against us protecting our kids.”
Taking a final swipe at Haley, he declared: “So I just think she’s fundamentally out of step with Republican voters.”