Jan 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

ABC News cancels New Hampshire debate

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley visits a caucus site at Franklin Junior High on January 15, 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley visits a caucus site at Franklin Junior High on Jan. 15 in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

ABC News said Tuesday that it was cancelling its New Hampshire primary debate, hours after former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said she would not debate unless former President Trump also did.

The big picture: Trump, who won in a landslide in Monday's Iowa caucuses, has skipped all previous Republican primary debates, often sitting instead for counter-programming.

  • "We've had five great debates in this campaign," Haley said in a statement earlier on Tuesday.
  • "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."

Zoom in: Haley and Trump had until Tuesday afternoon to confirm their attendance at the ABC News debate, according to the network.

  • "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," a spokesperson for ABC News said in a statement on Tuesday, ABC reports.
  • "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 other side: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had preciously committed to participating in the debate, hit Haley over her comments on Tuesday, saying that she was "afraid to participate in the remaining debates."

What to watch: The New Hampshire primary is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Go deeper: Haley and DeSantis turn their fire on Trump in final pre-Iowa debate

Go deeper