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Nikki Haley says she will participate in a debate if it’s against Trump or Biden

‘We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them,’ Ms Haley said about the GOP frontrunner

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 16 January 2024 17:51 GMT
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Nikki Haley thanks family after coming in third in Iowa

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says she will only attend another debate if it’s against Donald Trump or President Joe Biden after coming in third place in the Iowa caucuses.

“We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them,” Ms Haley said in a statement on Tuesday. “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 former South Carolina governor’s statement arrives after she garnered the third most support at the Iowa caucuses, trailing behind Mr Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Still, following the caucuses, Ms Haley said, “I can safely say tonight Iowa made this Republican primary a two-person race.”

Last week, Ms Haley went head-to-head in a debate with Mr DeSantis. Their ratings on CNN were trounced by Mr Trump’s appearance at the same time on a Fox News town hall.

Other debates are scheduled for 18 January and 21 January ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary held in New Hampshire.

Mr DeSantis wrote on X that he believes Ms Haley “is afraid to debate because she doesn’t want to answer the tough questions such as how she got rich off Boeing after giving them millions in taxpayer handouts as governor of South Carolina.”

He added, “The reality is that she is not running for the nomination, she’s running to be Trump’s VP.”

He said unlike Mr Trump or Ms Haley, “I won’t snub New Hampshire voters” and “plan to honour my commitments”.

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