ABC News Cancels N.H. Debate

( – Republicans have turned their attention to the upcoming New Hampshire primary election now that former President Donald Trump received 51% of the votes during the January 15 Iowa caucuses. A recent report indicated that presidential hopeful Nikki Haley threw a wrench into voters’ ability to learn more about her and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed platforms before the state’s January 23 Republican presidential primary elections.

On Tuesday, January 16, ABC News published an article announcing that the network and its Manchester, New Hampshire-based affiliate WMUR-TV, canceled the Republican primary debate, previously scheduled to occur that Thursday. The media outlet cited a lack of participation by candidates as the reason behind its decision.

An ABC News spokesperson explained that the network and its local partner wanted to host the debate but “always knew” that the plan was “contingent on the candidates” and the current status of their respective campaigns.

Four candidates qualified to participate in the debate. DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie previously confirmed their participation. However, Trump and Haley hadn’t confirmed their attendance by the Tuesday afternoon deadline, and Christie suspended his campaign on January 10.

Haley issued a statement earlier on Tuesday advising that she would only debate Trump or President Joe Biden. She said Trump had “ducked” all five of the previous debates, adding that he had “nowhere left to hide.”

DeSantis posted a statement on his X, formerly Twitter, account a few minutes later, blasting Haley. Taking her cue, he claimed she was afraid to debate. He explained that she didn’t want to have to respond to “tough questions” like how she got rich after giving Boeing “millions in taxpayer handouts” during her tenure as South Carolina governor.

DeSantis also accused Haley of running as Trump’s vice president instead of for the Republican nomination. He concluded his remarks by saying he looked forward to “debating two empty podiums.”

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