ABC News and CNN canceled their New Hampshire GOP primary debates after Nikki Haley said she won’t participate if Donald Trump isn’t on stage.
“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,” 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.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 16, 2024
Ron DeSantis said he would debate two empty podiums, but the mainstream outlets said no thanks.
“Nikki 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. The reality is that she is not running for the nomination, she’s running to be Trump’s VP,” DeSantis said.
“I won’t snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments. I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week,” he added.
Nikki 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.
The reality is that she is not running for the nomination, she’s running to…
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) January 16, 2024
Thus, New Hampshire voters won’t see another debate before next week’s primary.
3rd place Nikki haley refuses to debate DeSantis
CNN Cancels debatehttps://t.co/Vrre8R7HeS
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) January 17, 2024
ABC News reports:
ABC News and WMUR are canceling their planned Republican primary debate in New Hampshire on Thursday, citing a lack of candidate participation.
“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,” an ABC News spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
The decision comes shortly after a deadline set by ABC News and New Hampshire TV station WMUR for both former President Donald Trump and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to respond to their invitations to the debate by Tuesday afternoon.
Neither campaign confirmed they would attend.
DeSantis responded to Haley deciding to bail on the New Hampshire debates:
“She needs to show up”: DeSantis calls out Nikki Haley for trying to skip the scheduled New Hampshire debate next week.
"When have we had a New Hampshire primary where you haven't debated in New Hampshire?” pic.twitter.com/nhRBGm0JlD
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) January 12, 2024
CNN has just cancelled its New Hampshire debate. This follows ABC doing the same. Same issue: Only one candidate (DeSantis) agreed to show up. Haley would not debate unless Trump agreed. As with all other primary debates this cycle, he's not.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) January 17, 2024
CNN has dropped plans to hold a New Hampshire Republican debate on Sunday, after former UN ambassador Nikki Haley said that she would only participate in the event if former President Donald Trump did. That left Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the only candidate who had committed to participate.
CNN will hold a town hall in New Hampshire with Haley on Thursday. Jake Tapper will moderate the event, to start at 9 p.m. ET at New England College in Henniker, NH. The network held a town hall with DeSantis on Tuesday.
Trump has refused to participate in any of the debates this cycle, and his campaign had given no indication that would change following his lopsided victory in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday.