Highlights

  • Ron DeSantis out of US President race
  • Nikki Haley only hurdle before Trump
  • Trump won the Iowa Caucus last week

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Ron DeSantis drops out of US presidential race, endorses Trump

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the US presidential race and backed Trump. Nikki Haley is the only Republican left to challenge Trump for the party's nominee.

Ron DeSantis drops out of US presidential race, endorses Trump

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Sunday announced to withdraw from the GOP’s presidential primary race and endorse former US president Donald Trump as the party’s nominee. Indian American and the former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, 51, is the only Republican left in the race against Trump, 77, who is seeking to enter the White House for the second term. A White House occupant from January 2017 to January 2021, Trump lost to incumbent Joe Biden in 2020 elections.

Trump, who is so far the most popular Republican presidential candidate with a majority of the party members supporting him, as per all major polls, won the Iowa Caucus last week and is leading in the New Hampshire primaries which is scheduled for January 23.

With the withdrawal by DeSantis, who once was seen as a formidable challenge to Trump, it’s now a race of two in the GOP between Trump and Haley. Political pundits now say that the former president is set to be the GOP’s nominee and the November 20204 presidential elections will be a repeat of 2020 elections: Trump vs Biden.

“Following our second-place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on our way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favourable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it. But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign,” DeSantis said in a video message posted on X, a social media platform.

“It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance. While I have had disagreements with Donald Trump such as on the coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent Joe Biden. That is clear,” he said.

“I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honour that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear. A repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents,” De Santis said.

The Trump campaign welcomed the dropout by DeSantis. “With only a few days left until president Donald J Trump’s victory in New Hampshire, we are honoured by the endorsement from Governor Ron DeSantis and so many other former presidential candidates. It is now time for all Republicans to rally behind president Trump to defeat crooked Joe Biden and end his disastrous presidency,” his campaign said.

“Nikki Haley is the candidate of the globalists and Democrats who will do everything to stop the America First movement. From higher taxes, to decimating Social Security and Medicare, and to open borders, she represents the views of Democrats more than the views of Republicans,” the campaign said criticising Haley.

Haley on the other hand insisted that she will stay in the race. “I want to say to Ron: he ran a great race. He’s been a good governor. And we wish him well. Having said that, it’s now one fella and one lady left,” she said at a campaign event in New Hampshire.

In a statement, she said that so far only one state has voted. Half of its votes went to Donald Trump, and half did not.

“We’re not a country of coronations. Voters deserve a say in whether we go down the road of Trump and Biden again, or we go down a new conservative road. New Hampshire voters will have their say on Tuesday. When I’m president, I will do everything in my power to show them they made the right decision,” Haley said.

Meanwhile a memo issued by the Trump Campaign said that Haley needs to drop out of the race to save herself from humiliation.

“Now that we are a mere 48 hours from the Primary, the tone has shifted mightily. We see it, you see it, but make no mistake, if Nikki Haley loses in New Hampshire - there are only two options,” said the memo issued by the Trump Campaign.

“Option A: Nikki Haley drops out, unites behind President Trump, and commits to defeating Joe Biden (where, in the latest Harvard-Harris poll, Trump bests Biden by double the margin a now-fictional Haley vs Biden match-up would be),” it said.

“Option B: Nikki Haley prepares to be absolutely DEMOLISHED and EMBARRASSED in her home state of South Carolina after she gets zippo votes or delegates in Nevada, because Haley entered the Nevada Primary, rather than the Nevada Caucus, where 100% of the state’s delegates are actually awarded,” it said.

Democratic National Committee’s national press secretary Sarafina Chitika said DeSantis pinned his entire campaign’s hopes on the same extreme MAGA agenda that both Donald Trump and Nikki Haley are still running on, and now he is the latest member of the GOP to fall in line behind the original MAGA brand.

“Just like Trump, DeSantis ran a campaign pledging to ban abortion nationwide, rip away access to health care, and gut Social Security and Medicare, while embracing election deniers and whitewashing January 6. Whichever candidate wins the race for the MAGA base will be left running on the same dangerous and unpopular anti-freedom agenda that voters will reject in November,” she said.

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