Haley Announces Decision On Scheduled Appearance

ABC News has announced that it will be canceling the upcoming Republican presidential debate. The decision comes after former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley stated that she would not be participating unless former President Donald Trump takes part in the event. With Haley’s decision, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is now the only candidate who remains committed to the debate, which was originally scheduled for this Thursday in New Hampshire.

In a statement released by her campaign, Haley said, “We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them. 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.”

The move comes just one day after the Iowa caucuses, which saw Trump emerge as the clear winner, leaving Haley and DeSantis locked in a heated competition for second place. In an effort to differentiate herself from Trump, Haley has been making her electoral argument about defeating the “chaos” that she believes follows the current GOP front-runner.

Some analysts believe that Haley’s decision may have been influenced by her performance in the previous debate, which featured only her and DeSantis. In that debate, Haley did not perform as well as expected, ultimately being beaten by DeSantis for second place in Iowa. Additionally, her repeated refrain of being the only candidate who can beat Biden in a hypothetical general election matchup may have lost its effectiveness.

Regarding ABC’s decision to cancel the debate, the network’s spokesperson Van Scott said, “Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race.”

The cancellation also casts doubt on a debate scheduled for Sunday on CNN in New Hampshire. DeSantis, speaking to reporters, accused Haley of being “afraid to debate because she doesn’t want to answer the tough questions.” He went on to say that she only wants to be Trump’s VP and that the only people voting for her are Democrats trying to interfere in the Republican primary.

On the other hand, Trump’s campaign spokesman Steven Cheung called Haley a “desperate globalist” who wants higher taxes, open borders, and for China to dominate the United States. “That’s why the only people who are voting for her are Democrats who are trying to interfere in a Republican primary,” he added.

Haley and DeSantis went head-to-head in the most recent GOP debate in Iowa, which was a two-hour battle that left some of Haley’s supporters feeling as though her campaign had lost some of its above-the-fray attitude. Along with being repetitive, Haley’s frequent use of a campaign-run website was not well-received by some caucusgoers.

The focus of the GOP campaign now shifts to New Hampshire, where the primary is set to take place next week. Haley has projected confidence, pointing to her strong support in the state, and seems determined to use this momentum to chip away at Trump’s lead. After her caucus night party, Haley flew to New Hampshire and planned an event with Gov. Chris Sununu later in the day.

Following his victory in Iowa, Trump flew to New York to attend to one of his many legal challenges before heading to New Hampshire for a rally. Trump has not participated in any of the primary debates thus far.

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Chris Ager expressed disappointment at the news, saying, “We would have loved to see all three candidates on stage for the debate. People in New Hampshire expect to see a local debate, and candidates who skip it do so at their own risk.”

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