'Say it to my face': Ron DeSantis knocks Donald Trump as a 'keyboard warrior' for skipping debates

WASHINGTON — Ron DeSantis had harsh words for Donald Trump ahead of the fourth GOP primary debate in Alabama, calling the former president a “keyboard warrior” and urging him to debate “one on one.”

“Donald Trump wants to blame me,” DeSantis said Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” a day after Trump appeared to fault him for Florida State being left off of the college football's four-team playoff.

The Florida governor could not have changed the College Football Playoff selection committee's decision to pick the University of Alabama over Florida State University for the last slot.

But Trump and DeSantis have often criticized each other on the campaign trail, a rivalry the Florida governor noted during the Tuesday interview. He pointed out that Trump has knocked him on issues ranging from COVID-19 pandemic precautions to his stance on abortion.

“Maybe that’s the reason we should have a debate on your show, Laura. Stop being a keyboard warrior and let’s step up and debate one on one. He’s had a lot to say about me over the last year. Say it to my face. I’m game,” DeSantis said.

Trump will not be in attendance at the Wednesday debate in Alabama. The former president has said he will skip the primary debates altogether, citing his large lead in national and state polls. He has also said he wouldn’t sign the “Beat Biden” pledge to support any GOP nominee, even if it isn't him.

DeSantis previously criticized Trump for refusing to be on stage during the third GOP debate in November, saying “He owes it to you to be on this stage and explain why he should get another chance.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ron DeSantis knocks Donald Trump as 'keyboard warrior' over debates