GOP debate ahead of New Hampshire primary canceled

Breaking down Haley’s New Hampshire push


Breaking down Nikki Haley’s New Hampshire primary push

04:07

Washington — The Republican presidential debate that was expected to happen Thursday, days before the New Hampshire primary, has been canceled after candidates were unwilling to participate. 

“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. As a result, while our robust election coverage will continue, ABC News and WMUR-TV will not be moving forward with Thursday’s Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire,” an ABC News spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. 

Former President Donald Trump finished in first place in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming in second and Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, placing third, according to CBS News’ projections.

Haley argued that her performance in Iowa makes the primary campaign a “two-person race” between her and Trump. 

She said Tuesday that she would not participate in Thursday’s debate unless Trump was also there, making DeSantis the only candidate who had committed to the event. 

“I’ve done five debates,” Haley told CBS News political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Burns. “He’s done none. I want him on that stage. I welcome him when he says he’s going to do it. We’ll be there. But until then, I’m not going to bother.” 

Trump has avoided debating his GOP rivals in any of the five primary debates, citing his dominant lead in the polls. 

DeSantis and Haley were the only two candidates to participate in last week’s debate hosted by CNN in Des Moines, Iowa, ahead of the state’s caucuses. 

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