Headline RoundupJanuary 11th, 2024

DeSantis, Haley Spar in Final GOP Debate Before Iowa Caucuses

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley faced off in a one-on-one debate Wednesday night, days out from the Iowa caucuses.

The Stage: The debate stage shrunk further in the final debate of the Republican primary. Vivek Ramaswamy failed to qualify for the debate, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suspended his presidential campaign earlier on Wednesday. Republican frontrunner and former President Donald Trump did not participate in the debate, instead taking part in a town hall event on Fox News (Right bias).

The Candidates: DeSantis and Haley spend the night accusing the other of lying about their records and the records of their opponents. Haley criticized DeSantis’ underperformance so far in the race so far, and DeSantis criticized Haley’s record while serving as governor and Ambassador to the United Nations.

The Issues: The candidates rehashed many issues discussed in previous debates– education, federal spending, China, medicare, and cultural issues. Haley criticized the absent Trump for not participating in the debates, and DeSantis accused Trump of failing to deliver on campaign promises.

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum framed coverage as missing a key piece in the puzzle– the frontrunner in the race. The Associated Press (Lean Left bias) stated the debate “came in the shadow” of Trump’s town hall. The Wall Street Journal (Center bias) and the Washington Times (Lean Right bias) both said the candidates on stage were competing to be an “alternative” to Trump.

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