Nikki Haley pushes ahead of Ron DeSantis as Chris Christie drops out of presidential race

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jan 12, 2024 at 01:11 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Hello everyone and welcome to the tenth edition of our weekly recap for the 2024 US presidential election—your one and only source for all the news, rumours, twists, and turns this year’s election has in store for us. So sit down and make yourself comfy while we break down another tumultuous week of US politics into delicious, easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets.

Chris Christie drops out of the 2024 presidential race

Let’s get started with Chris Christie, a name that hasn’t dominated elections or polls much since the former Governor of New Jersey announced his run for the presidency in June 2023. This might be the reason why he withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday 10 January at a town hall in Windham, New Hampshire.

Christie, who was the only candidate to openly attack former US president Donald Trump, explained that it was clear to him that “there is not a path to win the nomination.”

“This race has always been bigger than me,” Christie noted in his speech. He then warned of the risk of reelecting Trump: “If we put him back behind the desk at the Oval Office, and a choice is needed to be made about whether to put himself first or you [the public] first, how much more evidence do you need? He will put himself first.”

The former governor did not endorse any other candidate. Nevertheless, he didn’t shy away from taking a slight dig at two of them. Christie predicted that Nikki Haley would “get smoked” in the race for the nomination and that a “petrified” Ron DeSantis would not last beyond next week’s Iowa caucuses.

Nikki Haley tops Ron DeSantis for the first time in Iowa poll

Now that we are on the topic of Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina and former UN ambassador is having a great week despite what Christie might be saying. A poll, released on Thursday 11 January, found that support for Haley was much higher than DeSantis’ among Iowa voters.

@independent

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley went head-to-head in the fifth GOP debate Thursday evening. #gopdebate #rondesantis #nikkihaley #iowa #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound - Independent

Donald Trump reveals he’s already picked a running mate

Moving on, we have former president Trump, who is currently regarded as the Republican frontrunner in the election. In his final town hall before the proceeding Iowa caucuses, Trump dropped the bombshell that he had made up his mind on who his running mate will be, should he become the GOP’s presidential nominee.

“I know who it’s going to be,” the former president told Fox News anchors Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier, though he declined to give any specifics.

@republicantv

Donald Trump weighs in on a potential running mate for the 2024 election. He didn’t explicitly say he wanted to run with Scott but had very high praise for him when asked. #trump #donaldtrump #trump2024 #timscott #trumpscott2024 #republican #usa #america #youth #genz #biden #joebiden #biden2024 #election #election2024 #president

♬ original sound - Republican Tv

“I can’t tell you that, really,” the politician said after being pressed further. However, when Baier asked for a hint, Trump noted: “We’ll do another show sometime.”

Donald Trump claims he should be able to assassinate opponents without prosecution

In other Trump-related news, a US court questioned the former president’s claims to get immunity from his criminal charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

The judges reacted sceptically to that argument, especially given the numerous wrongdoings currently on Trump’s record: “You’re saying a president could sell pardons, could sell military secrets, could tell SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival?” Judge Florence Pan asked Trump’s lawyer D John Sauer, as reported in The Independent.

During arguments in a Washington DC courtroom on Tuesday 9 January,  Sauer also endorsed the idea that, hypothetically, a president could order the killing of a  political rival by the US military and be immune from any legal consequences. James Pearce, the Assistant Special Counsel who argued the case for the US government, said Sauer’s comments suggested “an extraordinarily frightening future,” because his view would place presidents largely outside and above the law.

Trump also threatened to prosecute Joe Biden if he returned to the White House. “If I don’t get immunity then crooked Joe Biden doesn’t get immunity,” Trump stated in a video posted to social media. “Joe would be ripe for indictment,” he continued.

If this is supposed to give us a taste of what another Trump term could look like, it’s needless to say that it would be intense. And that’s a wrap on another busy week in US politics. See you for the next recap!

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