Nikki Haley says she won't participate in the next debate unless Trump participates

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — ABC News on Tuesday canceled the next Republican presidential debate. Nikki Haley He said he would not participate unless the former president was present Donald Trump Participates in it, leaves the government. Ron DeSantis New Hampshire is the only candidate committed to Thursday's event.

Haley said in a statement released while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Unfortunately, Donald Trump has fooled them all. He has nowhere to hide. The next debate I have will be with Donald Trump or Joe Biden. I'm looking forward to it.

His statement was released a day later All important Iowa caucuses, Trump won by larger margins than both Haley and DeSantis. With the two locked in a tight race for second place in Iowa, Haley tried to make her election pitch more about Trump than DeSantis, repeatedly echoing a turnaround from her candidacy in the “confusion” that followed the GOP frontrunner.

The move was likely a result of the last debate, which featured only Haley and DeSantis, in which Haley did not perform as well as expected, and DeSantis ultimately beat her to second place in Iowa.

Hawley argued to caucusgoers that Republicans have the best chance of defeating Biden in November, pointing to survey data that shows he has a huge lead in the GOP field in the theoretical general election race.

“Our intent was to cover the debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew it would depend on the candidates and the outcome of the race,” ABC spokesman Van Scott said in a statement.

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Haley's decision casts doubt on another New Hampshire debate scheduled for Sunday on CNN.

At X, DeSantis said Haley is “afraid of debate because he doesn't want to answer tough questions.” He accused her of “running as Trump's vice chancellor” and said she was “looking forward to debating two empty platforms in the Granite State this week.”

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung on Tuesday called Haley a “desperate globalist who wants high taxes, open borders and China to dominate the United States,” adding, “That's why the only people who vote for her are Democrats trying to interfere in the Republican primary.”

Haley went head-to-head with DeSantis The latest GOP debate In Iowa last week, a two-hour fight left at least some of his supporters feeling that the former South Carolina governor had lost some of the over-the-top approach of his campaign so far. More than a dozen times he mentioned his campaign website There are many reasons for that He said he appeared repeatedly and caught Haley in a battle of “name calling.”

With the GOP campaign now shifting to New Hampshire ahead of that state's primary election next week, Hawley expressed hope that her commitment to the state and polls showing her support there will give her campaign the momentum it needs to chip away at Trump's strength. After her caucus dinner, Haley boarded an overnight flight to New Hampshire, where she planned an event with Governor Chris Sununu.

But DeSantis broke with tradition and flew directly to Haley's home state of South Carolina instead. Said last week The plan was to make a brief appearance there before heading to New Hampshire, intended to send a message to Haley that she would be running against him in her home state's primary next month.

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During the last week of campaigning in Iowa, reporters asked Haley when she would run. Thursday's discussionHosted by ABC and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College.

After his caucus victory, Trump flew to New York, where he was expected to appear in court His many legal challenges, before heading to New Hampshire for a rally later Tuesday. So far he has avoided all major debates.

After visiting the courthouse, Trump will fly to New Hampshire to hold a rally Tuesday evening.

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Chris Ager told the AP on Tuesday that both Haley and Trump have been invited to join DeSantis on stage for the debate.

“We want to see everyone,” he said in a text message. “People in NH expect to see a local debate. Candidates who avoid do so at their own peril.

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Holly Rama contributed to this report from Concord, New Hampshire.

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Reach out to Meg Kinnard http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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