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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ron DeSantis pleads with Sean Hannity to set up Republican presidential debate with Trump

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the third Republican presidential primary debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in downtown Miami.  (Al Diaz/ Herald/TNS)
By Dave Goldiner New York Daily News New York Daily News

Ron DeSantis really, really wants to get former President Donald Trump to debate him.

The Florida governor begged Fox News host Sean Hannity to arrange a one-on-one clash with Trump even though the former president says the GOP presidential primary is basically over.

“Donald Trump and me: I’m in. So just say the word,” DeSantis told the conservative media titan. “You’ve shown that you can do it in a way that I think really helps the voters. So I’m game. Just let me know.”

DeSantis was returning to Hannity’s airwaves late Wednesday after he recently clashed with Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom on the popular right-wing show.

“People appreciated the way you set it up, and they said it was the most substantive debate that they’ve seen in this entire election cycle,” DeSantis said.

Besides Trump, DeSantis said he would be open to duking it out on Fox with Republican presidential rival Nikki Haley.

Hannity appeared amused at the idea that any of DeSantis’ GOP rivals would consider such a showdown, especially Trump.

“Anybody else on your list that you’d like to do?” Hannity asked.

Trump holds more than 50% support in most polls of Iowa and nationally, a historically dominant edge.

DeSantis is stuck in the midteens and his battling for second place with Haley, the former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor.

He has showed some signs of political momentum in Iowa in recent weeks after picking up endorsements of popular Gov. Kim Reynolds and evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.

DeSantis has staked his campaign on pulling off a strong showing in Iowa, which he has been criss-crossing for months.

Trump says GOP voters have already made up their mind that he will be the party’s nominee against President Biden in a rematch of their 2020 battle.

He has skipped all four presidential debates set up by the Republican National Committee and says he has no plans to interact face-to-face with DeSantis, Haley or any of his other rivals.