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Haley Will Not Participate In Future Debates Unless They Include Trump, Biden

GOP runner-up DeSantis said he plans on attending ABC News' scheduled debate this Thursday

Haley Will Not Participate In Future Debates Unless They Include Trump, Biden

GOP candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced she would not participate in future debates this election cycle unless former President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden are also participating.

Haley made her announcement shortly after Monday night's Iowa caucus.

"We've had five great debates in this campaign," Haley said. "Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them."

The former South Carolina governor said Trump had "nowhere left to hide."

"The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden," she said. "I look forward to it."

A sixth GOP primary debate is tentatively scheduled for Thursday and will be hosted by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

DeSantis responded to Haley's announcement in his own X post.

"Nikki Haley is afraid to debate because she doesn't want to answer tough questions such as how she got rich off Boeing after giving them millions in taxpayer handouts as governor of South Carolina," DeSantis wrote.

The Florida governor suggested Haley was not running for the Republican presidential nomination but rather to be Trump's running mate this November.

"I won't snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments," he added. "I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week."

Trump has notably declined to participate in the previous five primary debates citing his commanding lead in polls over fellow GOP candidates throughout the primary season. The former president has not indicated his intent to participate in Thursday's debate. It is unclear how ABC News' debate will be restructured for DeSantis.

The former president defeated fellow GOP challengers by about 30 points, garnering 51% of total votes cast in the state in last night's Iowa caucus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second with just over 21%, followed by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley with just over 19%, per the Associated Press.

In an unprecedented move, corporate media outlets, including The New York TimesFox News, and NBC News, projected Trump as the Iowa caucus winner shortly after the polls closed. The Associated Press notably projected Trump as the victor of the night with under 1% of precincts reporting.

Trump had garnered just over 70% of votes, followed by DeSantis with 15.1%, Haley with 8.2% and Ramaswamy with 5.8% with just under 500 votes counted.

Shortly after the caucus, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his campaign and endorsed Trump for re-election. With 93% of precincts reporting at the time of his announcement, the entrepreneur had garnered just under 8% support, totaling over 8,000 votes, per the Associated Press.

The New Hampshire primary will be held on Jan. 23.

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