Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley vie for second place as Trump pokes fun

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley vie for second place as Trump pokes fun

In the middle of a televised debate on CNN, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley clashed, accusing each other of lying and getting angry at each other. Meanwhile, on another channel, Donald Trump was enjoying his time at an audience forum on Fox.

The former president became the center of attention, having fun, joking and even blurting out some lies and insults without anyone standing up to him. In this context, Trump also revealed that he has already decided who will be his vice presidential running mate.

These events come just days before the start of the Iowa caucuses, the first stage of the Republican primaries towards the presidential nomination.

Fight for second place

In polls among likely GOP voters, Trump leads with more than 60% voting intention, while Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley each have about 12%.

These two candidates are fighting a fierce battle to position themselves as the alternative to Trump within their party. As the race winds down with the withdrawals of other candidates such as Mike Pence, Tim Scott and Doug Burgum, Chris Christie has also decided to drop out of the race.

Christie believes it is more important to keep Trump from returning to the presidency than his own personal ambitions, and believes his withdrawal may benefit alternative candidates to Trump, especially Haley in New Hampshire, the second stop in the primary.

Debate and its protagonists

During the televised debate, Ron DeSantis has been the most aggressive, constantly attacking Haley. In turn, Haley has repeatedly accused DeSantis of lying, urging the audience to visit the website to verify his claims.

Both candidates have focused their arguments on recurring themes. DeSantis accuses Haley of not being conservative enough and worrying too much about international politics.

For her part, Haley accuses DeSantis of lying and falling in the polls. However, both avoid directly criticizing Trump, who is likely to take the nomination.

Criticism of Biden and Trump

During the debate, Nikki Haley criticized incumbent President Joe Biden for the secret hospitalization of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Haley questioned how it is possible that Biden does not talk to his defense secretary on a daily basis, considering the conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.

In addition, Haley called the immunity thesis raised by Trump’s lawyers before a Washington court “absolutely ridiculous.” According to this theory, a president cannot be prosecuted for ordering the assassination of a political rival without prior political process.

Haley also made it clear that Jan. 6, 2021 was not a “precious day,” as Trump calls it, but a terrible day in the country’s history.

DeSantis’ defense of Trump

Ron DeSantis has focused on charging that Trump is being unfairly persecuted by the judiciary. DeSantis argues that while this persecution is unfair, it will negatively affect Trump’s candidacy.

In addition, DeSantis has expressed his willingness to consider any of the primary rivals as a running mate. However, these statements have been taken with humor by Trump, who joked that he is starting to like Christie more.

Trump and his choice of running mate

During the forum on Fox News, Trump answered noncommittal questions and took the opportunity to post messages that suited him. The former president said he has already decided who his vice presidential running mate will be on his ticket, but declined to reveal his identity.

Trump joked that he would consider Christie, who recently dropped out of the presidential race, as his running mate. However, Trump did not elaborate further on the matter.


The fight for second place between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley intensifies as the race narrows. Despite their constant attacks and accusations against each other, both candidates avoid directly criticizing Trump. Meanwhile, Trump enjoys his time on Fox News, having fun and joking with the audience.

Although polls indicate that Trump is leading comfortably, the decision of his running mate has yet to be revealed. With the Iowa caucuses about to begin, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is at a high point.