A debate between two Republican Presidential candidates, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, turned nasty as the two contenders took endless shots at each other’s integrity. The event, staged at Drake University in Iowa on January 10, featured only DeSantis and Haley because Donald Trump refused to participate.
As soon as the debate got underway, DeSantis and Haley accused each other of lying, with Haley saying, “But every time he lies, Drake University, don’t turn this into a drinking game because you will be overserved by the end of the night.”
DeSantis replied stating that Haley regularly denies making statements she has made off-stage and told the audience that if she claims she didn’t say it, she definitely did.
Both candidates condemned President Trump for not showing up and said he did not fulfill the promises he made before entering the White House.
On the same night, Donald Trump appeared with Megyn Kelly in Des Moines, Iowa, and was watched by more than four million viewers. Just over 2.5 million tuned in to see Haley spar against DeSantis.
Kelly later took to Twitter to describe the former President as “compelling,” “funny,” and “interesting,” drawing criticism from other users of the platform. Several people accused Kelly of prioritizing entertainment over substantive policy debate. One person wrote, “With the country heading down the toilet, I didn’t sign up for laughing & to be entertained. I signed up for policy wins & execution.”
Mr. Trump maintains his dominant lead in the Republican primaries, but has refused to attend a single debate. His arch-critic, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, dropped out of the race on January 10, saying he could not see a viable path to winning the nomination. “I am going to make sure that in no way do I enable Donald Trump to ever be president of the US again,” he said.
Christie was overheard criticizing Haley and DeSantis before his announcement, saying neither is up to the job.