Haley and DeSantis come out swinging in GOP debate
With temperatures digging deeper than even native Iowans are used to, many campaign events have been called off or gone virtual, and there are some concerns about what the bitter weather will mean for turnout on Monday.
While Donald Trump holds a substantial polling lead, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley are fighting hard for second place in the hope it will give them the boost they need ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump’s town hall with Fox News beat the GOP debate between Mr DeSantis and Ms Haley in the ratings.
Trump campaign derailed by Iowa weather
The former president was originally set to hold campaign events on Saturday and Sunday in Atlantic, Sioux City, Indianola and Cherokee.
On Friday, his team announced that several live appearances would be replaced with tele-rallies, with only one in-person event still taking place in Indianola.
It comes as blizzard warnings remain in place for large parts of the state, according to the National Weather Service, with Iowans advised to avoid outdoor activity if possible.
Megan Sheets13 January 2024 16:28
Haley brands DeSantis ‘desperate’ during fiery contest
The former UN ambassador branded 2024 Republican rival DeSantis “desperate” as the pair clashed in a fiery debate days before the Iowa caucuses.
The pair argued as they discussed potential cuts to social security, with the Florida governor accusing Haley of being in favour of sending American tax dollars over “to pay the pensions of Ukrainian bureaucrats.”
“That is not true. That is such a lie, Ron,” she said as DeSantis told her she was in favour of continuing to send money over to the at-war country.
“You’re so desperate. You’re just so desperate,” she told him as she shook her head in apparent disgust.
Haley accusing her rival of lying was a theme of the night as she repeatedly plugged her new DeSantisLies.com website.
Graeme Massie watched the debate.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 16:00
Trump’s campaign by trial: Courthouse outbursts and cries of victimhood
He didn’t have to be there, and according to his attorneys, he didn’t want to be. Days earlier, Donald Trump’s lawyers tried to convince a judge to postpone closing arguments in his fraud trial altogether, until the end of the month, so he could be with his family after the death of his mother-in-law.
Instead, the former president turned a hallway inside New York State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan into a press conference. As he has done several times over the last four months, he sat with his lawyers at the defence table, where he was photographed in images blasted across news networks and on social media. But for the first time, he used the microphone in front of him to lash out at the judge in front of him, the attorney general suing him, and the case itself.
Hours earlier, he was in Iowa, answering a round of softball questions from a supportive Fox News audience on a brightly lit stage that looked more like a game show than a town hall.
After he left Judge Arthur Engoron’s courtroom, Mr Trump went to one of his brand-building properties in New York City to give a press conference aired on the same network.
The chain of events underscored his reliance on his growing legal battles for his own campaign for the presidency, using his criminal and civil cases to cast himself as a victim of political persecution, while telling his supporters that what he claims is a conspiracy against him will come for them, too, unless he stops them.
The trials have become his campaign, packed with court appearances, and the campaign is his chance to bury the charges, if elected.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 15:00
Recap: Chris Christie suspends 2024 presidential campaign
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and two-time failed presidential candidate, announced he is dropping out of the 2024 race during a town hall in New Hampshire.
“It’s clear to me tonight, there isn’t a path for me to win the nomination which is why I’m suspending my campaign tonight for president of the United States,” Christie told potential voters on Wednesday just hours ahead of the next GOP debate.
He reportedly notified allies that he would remove himself from the Republican candidate pool, facing faltering polling numbers and pressure from Donald Trump critics to find a viable opponent to take on the former president.
“I would rather lose by telling the truth than lie in order to win,” Christie said.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 14:00
Iowa caucuses: When will we know the results?
All eyes will be on the race to secure the Republican nomination, with front-runner Donald Trump expected to cement his commanding lead over his rivals in the polls as the likes of Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy seek to make an impact and prove they have the support to mount a meaningful challenge.
For Democrats, the matter is much more straightforward: they will simply gather in gyms, schools, libraries and churches across the state’s 1,657 precincts (spread over 99 counties) to elect delegates to send to the county conventions in March, the next step to selecting the delegates that will attend the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.
Despite sub-zero temperatures and snow being forecast, the state Republican Party chair Jeff Kaufmann has insisted: “We have done everything humanly possible to ensure that this caucus comes off without a hitch.”
So when can we expect to find out the results?
Joe Sommerlad13 January 2024 13:00
Christie caught on hot mic: DeSantis is ‘petrified’ and Haley will get ‘smoked’
Chris Christie was heard on a hot mic blasting his fellow Republican presidential candidates before his announcement in New Hampshire that he would drop out.
Christie spoke to someone named Wayne before his announcement on Wednesday evening in Windham, New Hampshire, but did not realise that his microphone was on.
The former New Jersey governor who endorsed Donald Trump in 2016 but staged a campaign throughout last year criticising the former president said that many people did not want to hear what he had to say.
Christie’s contention that DeSantis was “petrified” and Haley would get “smoked” was cheered by Trump himself, who wrote on Truth Social last night: “I hear Chris Christie is dropping out of the race today — I might even get to like him again! Anyway, he was just caught on a hot mic making a very truthful statement: ‘She’s gonna get smoked…You and I both know it, she’s not up to this’.”
Eric Garcia was listening live.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 12:00
ICYMI: Former Trump aide decries GOP field’s defence of felony charges
Former Trump White House staffer turned CNN political commentator and co-host of The View Alyssa Farah Griffin echoes Chris Christie’s remarks as he bowed out of the nomination race yesterday.
The former New Jersey Governor called out his fellow Republican candidates for not attacking former president Donald Trump over his 91 felony charges and instead saying they would still support him.
Ms Griffin said on X on Thursday morning: “If Trump wins the nomination, it’s not because he worked for it. He hasn’t showed up to debates, he’s been in early states the least of any GOP candidate. It will be because his GOP opponents (other than Christie) decided to defend him against 91 felony charges.”
In an appearance on The View on Wednesday morning, former Republican lawmaker and key Trump adversary Liz Cheney said she found it difficult to imagine the GOP surviving given how caught up it is in the cult of personality.
Ms Cheney said she believes a new party needs to emerge as a home for conservative principles: “I believe the country has to have a party that’s based on conservative principles and values where we can engage with the Democrats on substance and on policy … I think post-2024 election, we’re going to see just a huge tectonic shift in our politics.”
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 10:00
Trump again vows to be a day-one ‘dictator’ as he ices out rivals in frozen Iowa
Republican frontrunner and former president Donald Trump again vowed on Wednesday to seize dictatorial powers if elected to the nation’s highest office once more but attempted to walk back his frequently made promise to exact retribution on his political enemies during a second term in the White House.
The disgraced former president, who is currently facing more than 90 felony charges in four separate jurisdictions and is scheduled to go on trial in March for attempting a coup to keep himself in office after losing the 2020 election, promised to spend his first day of a second term ruling as an autocrat during a town hall broadcast on Fox News ahead of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.
Asked by a voter in the Hawkeye State – where temperatures have dropped below freezing – how he’d respond to critics who argue that restoring to him to power would unleash untold chaos upon the country, Mr Trump replied that the chaos of his first term was the fault of Democrats in the House of Representatives and law enforcement officials who conducted investigations into his conduct.
Here’s Andrew Feinberg’s report on Wednesday night’s action.
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 08:00
Watch: DeSantis sidesteps question on Trump posing threat to democracy
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 06:00
Top takeaways from the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses
Let’s take a look at what we learned on Wednesday night:
Oliver O’Connell13 January 2024 04:00