– Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis exchange strong blows
For the first time, only two Republican presidential candidates appeared on the television stage. Before the primaries begin, they are trying to narrow the gap with favorite Trump.
US Republicans Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis launched harsh mutual attacks shortly before the start of the presidential primaries in order to catch up with the party's internal leader, Donald Trump. In a televised debate between the Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday evening in Iowa, Haley and DeSantis took to the stage for the first time and fought in a duel.
The former US ambassador to the United Nations and Florida governor used almost every response to verbally attack the other. Trump, who has made fairly minor attacks, again moved away from the group and instead did his usual solo town hall program for another TV station.
The first Republican primary election in Iowa is scheduled for next week. Anyone who wants to become the party's presidential nominee must first win internal votes in individual states. The actual presidential elections take place at the beginning of November. In polls, Trump holds a commanding lead in a shrinking field of Republican candidates despite all the scandals and legal troubles, and generally ranks about 50 percentage points ahead of Haley and DeSantis. In the top two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, the gap is getting smaller, and things are looking better, especially for Haley. She and DeSantis are currently essentially fighting for second place.
During their duel on the televised stage in Iowa, Haley and DeSantis engaged in constant attacks and counterattacks. The Florida governor accused his party colleague of being opportunistic, after having repeatedly changed her positions in the past and, above all, to satisfy the desires of wealthy donors. The 45-year-old has joked three times that the country does not need “pale pastels” but a clear path. Haley is the only woman among the Republican presidential candidates and wore a light-colored dress during the debate.
In turn, the former South Carolina governor has consistently called DeSantis a liar and repeatedly pointed to her campaign website recounting his lies. Haley joked that DeSantis was jealous that donors had moved away from him and were now supporting her. “You're so desperate,” she said.
Harsh criticism of Trump
Both have once again tried to score points with harsh messages, for example towards Iran or China. But compared to Trump, DeSantis and Haley dared to stand out a little more than in previous debates. “I appreciate what President Trump has done,” DeSantis said. However, his party colleague did not implement what he promised in many places. He called for politicians to be “servants of the people” and not “rulers of the people.” With Trump as the candidate, everything will revolve around the past election, legal problems, and lawsuits.
Haley was also more reserved toward Trump. I think he was the right president at the right time. “I agree with many of his policies,” she said. But his type is not her type. She doesn't care about revenge or drama. Trump is not the right president for the future. And with him there will be “four more years of chaos.” However, the 51-year-old has at least confirmed that Trump lost the last presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. She criticized the continued claim that the opposite is wrong.
Trump has never conceded his electoral defeat, but continues to spread lies that the victory was stolen from him fraudulently. At the time, he tried with all his might to cancel the election results, which culminated in the unprecedented attack launched by his supporters on the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021. The former president will have to answer for his post-election role and many other accusations in four criminal cases in the coming months, in parallel with the campaign. Electoral.
Trump Parallel Show
During his solo appearance on Fox News, which aired in parallel with the debate, Trump criticized DeSantis on Wednesday, saying he was no longer practically in the race. The 77-year-old once again alluded to the fact that he helped DeSantis early in his career. “He would have worked at a pizzeria or maybe a law firm if I hadn’t supported him.”
An important theme of the presentation was immigration. Trump announced: “We will carry out the largest deportation operation in the history of our country,” referring to people who do not have identification papers in the country. “We will send everyone back to where they came from.” Regarding his comment a few weeks ago that he would be a dictator on his first day in office, Trump said Democrats portray him as one. He stressed: “I will not be a dictator,” referring to a possible second term in office.
In a rare agreement, Haley and DeSantis criticized Trump for refusing to participate in the debate, as he did in previous rounds. Just a few hours ago, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, dropped out of the primary race – in light of poor poll numbers. In recent weeks, the 61-year-old has emerged as the only Republican presidential candidate to harshly criticize Trump. On Wednesday, he again accused his colleagues of being too cowardly to deal harshly with Trump, for fear of intimidating his electoral base.