TV debate between Republicans Haley and DeSantis accuse each other of lying – and make a surprising pact against Trump

The first Republican primary in Iowa will take place on Monday. In their last TV duel before that, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley attacked each other harshly, but former President Donald Trump was even harsher.

What Nikki Haley says should be self-evident, undisputed and not a big deal. “Trump lost the election, Biden won.” But to this day, Donald Trump sows doubts about this and even tries to reinterpret history. The last presidential election was stolen from him, even though he was the one who tried to overturn the election results. Haley also addresses this. “I think what happened on January 6th was a terrible day and I think,” says the former UN ambassador, “President Trump will have to answer for it.”

It is a remarkable attack that the Republican decided to make on Wednesday evening in the first TV debate of 2024. What’s even more remarkable is that Ron DeSantis, her rival and running mate, is getting on board with it. He predicts that the ex-president will have to answer to a “left-wing jury” in the capital Washington, DC. “What are the chances that he will get through this,” asks the governor of Florida rhetorically. “I don’t think he can do it.”

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis discussed each other for two hours on Wednesday evening. Most of the time, the two accused each other of lying. Haley repeatedly said that viewers should go to a specific website: – DeSantis is lying, period com. She repeated this so many times that it seemed unintentionally funny, even the annoyed DeSantis had to smile at some point.

Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and the truth

And then came the moment when the two argued together against Trump. They simply said what was happening: that Trump lost the last election, that he would probably have to go to court and that all of this would probably be extremely difficult for him. They are truths – truths that Trump is fighting against. Because he wants to convince the Republican base that he should be sent back to the White House despite everything.

According to current polls, he has hopes of being nominated as a presidential candidate by the Republicans again. In Iowa, where the first Republican primary will take place next Monday, Trump is far ahead. Haley and DeSantis are fighting for second place.

DeSantis wanted to win over evangelicals

DeSantis originally based his entire presidential candidacy on winning Iowa. Many evangelical Christians live in the agricultural state, one of the most important social groups for the Republicans. DeSantis wanted to win over evangelicals by presenting himself as the better Trump. Someone who pursues similar goals but has a more moderate tone. That did not work. And if DeSantis doesn’t finish second in Iowa, his candidacy will probably be over in a short time.

Things are different with Nikki Haley. She appeals more to centrist Republicans; for them it’s all about a solid result in Iowa. If the 51-year-old actually came in second place there, it would give her media support for the next primary election in New Hampshire on January 22nd. According to a current CNN poll, Trump has 39 percent, Haley 32 percent and Chris Christie 12 percent. On Wednesday evening, the latter announced that he was withdrawing from the race for the presidential nomination. Christie had run a purely anti-Trump campaign. Not all, but many of his supporters are now likely to switch to Haley. Haley hopes that a victory in New Hampshire will change the mood – away from Trump and towards her.

Trump wants to “act like a dictator for a day”

While Haley and DeSantis were attacking each other on CNN, Trump was sitting with the competition from Fox News and answering questions from citizens. He repeated his statement that he wanted to act like a dictator for a day. He accused Joe Biden of being responsible for the Ukraine war, not Vladimir Putin. And Trump celebrated overturning abortion rights at the federal level.

Trump said what he always says. But Nikki Haley tried a formulation that was new to her. “Make America Proud Again,” she demanded. Make America proud again based on Trump’s “Make America Great Again”.

What she apparently didn’t know: “Make America Proud Again” is also a Trump phrase.