The Iowa Republican Presidential Primary debate LIVE: Follow Daily Mail’s coverage of the showdown between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley face off on CNN after Chris Christie stunned supporters by dropping out


Follow DailyMail.com’s live coverage of the CNN debate between Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, five days before the Iowa caucuses.

Donald Trump, the frontrunner, is skipping the event to hold a town hall with Fox News.

Chris Christie stunned his supporters earlier on Wednesday night by suspending his campaign.

Trump says he ‘might like’ Chris Christie again after he dropped out of race and was caught saying Haley would get ‘smoked’

Donald Trump celebrated the news that Chris Christie will be dropping out of the presidential race with a post on Truth Social.

The former president said: ‘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.”’

Turmp is skipping the CNN Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday night and will take part in a Fox News town hall instead at 9pm.

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, in Clinton, Iowa. The likely rematch between President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump has huge implications for the United States and the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Ron DeSantis: I agree with Chris Christie that Nikki Haley is ‘going to get smoked’

Ron DeSantis reacted to the release of Chris Christie’s hot mic moment by saying he agreed with him.

As he prepared for the CNN debate, the Florida governor tweeted: ‘I agree with Christie that Nikki Haley is “going to get smoked”.

He didn’t reference another line from the audio, where Christie called him ‘petrified’.

The Iowa caucus on Monday could be the coldest in history.

The wintry conditions have blanketed the state with snow and caused chaos for the campaigns as they try and clinch vital voters.

Jimmy Centers, a top Republican strategist who isn’t aligned to a candidate, told DailyMail.com that campaign with the best ground game has the advantage.

Centers said that Iowans were hardy types who took their responsibilities seriously and would caucus in all weathers.

‘But a robust organization can make certain that regardless of the weather forecast, your supporters still turn out, and have any support they need to make it to caucus on a cold January night,’ he said.

That gives Trump an advantage, he added, just ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

‘DeSantis has built a really strong organization, with caucus location captains for every site across the state,’ said Centers, former communications director for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

‘In any other year, that would be the gold standard for a caucus organization. Former President Trump’s team has the benefit of having worked the state for eight years, and built deep, meaningful relationships across the state.’

Monday and Tuesday brought heavy snow across the state, upending travel plans and forcing campaigns to cancel events.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was caught on hot mic talking trash about 2024 hopefuls Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.N. Amb. Nikki Haley moments before dropping out of the presidential race Wednesday evening.

At a New Hampshire town hall, Christie told an audience that ‘it’s clear to me that there isn’t a path’ to the Republican nomination, ‘which is why I’m suspending my campaign for president of the United States.’

The livestream on his campaign website carried a conversation Christie was having backstage before his dramatic announcement.

Christie is heard commenting that Haley spent $68 million on her campaign, while DeSantis spent $59, while the former New Jersey governor had just spent $12 million, noting that he was the one ‘punching above their weight.’

‘And she’s going to get smoked, and you and I both know this, she’s not up to this,’ Christie is heard saying about Haley.

He also revealed that DeSantis called him ‘petrified.’

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis make one of their final pitches to Iowa caucus voters

Good evening from the DailyMail.com politics team on a dramatic night in the Republican presidential race.

Rivals Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis will face off in a debate on CNN at 9pm in the battle to close the gap with frontrunner Donald Trump.

They made their final preparations as Chris Christie made a stunning announcement he was suspending his campaign.

He dropped out two weeks before the New Hampshire primary, where he was polling as high as third.

Donald Trump is skipping the CNN debate – even though he was invited – and will take part in a town hall on Fox News.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (14294631k) The stage for the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate is being set up at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on January 10, 2024. Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are participating in CNN's Republican Presidential Primary Debate this Wednesday evening at Drake University. CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate Stage In Iowa, Des Moines, United States - 10 Jan 2024





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