Nikki Haley: I'll Debate Again Under One Condition

Trump or Biden have to be there, too
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2024 11:23 AM CST
Nikki Haley: I'll Debate Again Under One Condition
Nikki Haley speaks at a caucus night party in West Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

There won't be another debate featuring Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis alone. Haley, one of only three Republican candidates remaining in the 2024 race as of Tuesday, says she will participate in future debates only if they feature former President Trump, the GOP frontrunner who easily won Monday's Iowa caucuses with 51% of the vote, or Democratic incumbent President Biden, per the Hill. Trump, who refused to participate in any of the five GOP primary debates, needs to stop hiding, the former UN ambassador says in a statement. Two more debates had been planned ahead of New Hampshire's primary next week: ABC News was to host one Thursday, followed by CNN on Sunday. Given Haley's statement, it's unclear whether either will take place.

Trump—with a rally scheduled for Sunday, per Politico—isn't expected to participate in either debate, leaving DeSantis on his own. The Florida governor, who already accepted his debate invitations, claims Haley is "afraid ... to answer the tough questions." "I won't snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments," he says. "I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week." Haley, meanwhile, accuses Trump of running scared. "He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it," she says. Haley, who finished just behind DeSantis in Iowa, is polling well in New Hampshire, but still trails Trump by double digits. (More Nikki Haley stories.)

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