Less than a week before the first contest in the GOP presidential nominating process, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley faced off in a CNN debate in Des Moines, Iowa, while former President Donald Trump, who had qualified for the event, opted to do a Fox News town hall.
But while Trump has skipped every GOP presidential primary debate so far — including the four Republican National Committee-affiliated debates held in 2023, as well as Wednesday night’s CNN debate which is not tied to the RNC — the former commander in chief has remained the clear frontrunner, according to polls.
During the CNN debate, DeSantis said that Haley “may even be more liberal than” California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who DeSantis debated last year.
Haley repeatedly encouraged people to visit desantislies.com. “Ron’s lying because Ron’s losing,” she claimed.
But when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked each of the candidates what they admired about each other, DeSantis said he appreciated Haley speaking out strongly on some key matters during her tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and indicated that serving as South Carolina governor is a “great achievement.” Haley responded to the question by saying…