Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called out Donald Trump for undermining the primary process by declining to sign a pledge in support of the eventual Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential race. DeSantis, who is 44 years old, voiced his concerns during a press conference held in Iowa. He stressed that it is counterproductive for Trump to abstain from participating in this process. DeSantis himself has signed the loyalty oath required by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to be eligible for the first GOP debate, which is scheduled for August 23 in Milwaukee.
DeSantis highlighted the broader significance of the pledge, stating, “It’s not just about you. It’s about a greater mission that we need to accomplish for the American people.” In contrast, Trump, who is 77 years old, openly rejected the “Beat Biden Pledge” in an interview with Newsmax. He cited his reluctance to endorse specific candidates within the Republican field as the reason for his refusal. Trump explained that signing the pledge would be untenable due to his reservations about certain contenders.
The former president, who has also hinted at the possibility of not attending the first primary debate, plans to announce his decision next week. DeSantis will be sharing the debate stage with other candidates who have pledged their support, including entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (38 years old), former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (51 years old), Senator Tim Scott (57 years old) of South Carolina, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (67 years old).
Former Vice President Mike Pence has also expressed his intention to sign the pledge, while former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (60 years old) has voiced concerns about the RNC’s requirement but has indicated his willingness to sign for the sake of participation. The pledge mandate was introduced by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in April to alleviate internal party conflicts during the primaries and general election, with the goal of preventing a potential split or third-party scenario.