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Haley says no to vice presidency as former rival backs Trump

In World
January 20, 2024

Polls show Mr DeSantis lagging way behind Trump and Ms Haley ahead of the Jan 23 primary. He has events scheduled on Jan 20 in South Carolina, which holds a primary in February, and his campaign has not said if he will return to New Hampshire.

He chose St Anselm because it was supposed to host a debate this week, but both Trump and Ms Haley declined to participate, further cutting off Mr DeSantis’ political oxygen.

Mr DeSantis was asked if thought he could still win the nomination.

“As long as I’m in the hunt, that tells me that I’m seeing a pathway,” he said. “The minute I don’t, I’m not going to do this just for my health.”

If Jan 19 was Mr DeSantis’ farewell to the New Hampshire media, he left an impression. The press conference was scheduled for 3.30pm – outside in the winter cold. Reporters, along with a few die-hard supporters, stood and waited, shivering, for Mr DeSantis to arrive.

The windchill was minus 11 deg C. Some supporters gave up and trickled off, followed by a few members of the media.

“It’s not that cold. It’s not too too bad,” said Ms Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, 53, of Derry, holding a DeSantis sign. She was jumping up and down to keep herself warm.

“He’s lost my vote!” one attendee shouted, and the crowd laughed.

Finally, after nearly an hour, Mr DeSantis’ car rolled up and he bounded out without a winter coat, looking like he had just flown in from Tallahassee.

He took a handful of questions and then abruptly cut off the session after about 10 minutes. The crowd groaned.

A minute later, he was gone – off to a town hall in Nashua. Presumably indoors.

Standing up for Joe

Meanwhile, New Hampshire voters will offer a glimpse into Mr Biden’s re-election efforts next week – even if his name’s not on the ballot.

Mr Biden shunned the state’s primary contest after it ignored demands to cede its early spot in the campaign calendar to South Carolina, a more populated and diverse state the party has sought to boost along with Nevada.

While the Democratic National Committee has said the New Hampshire contest effectively will not count, residents can still write his name in on the ballot.

“We’ve got to stand up for Joe Biden,” said Mr David Watters, a write-in advocate and Democratic state senator in New Hampshire.

Democratic longshots Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman, and self-help author Marianne Williamson are seeking to challenge Mr Biden.

Married couple Elliot and Edith Smith plan to vote for Mr Biden in the state’s primary – but not enthusiastically, citing concerns about the 81-year-old’s age.

“I am disgusted with both parties, but we can’t elect Trump,” said Mr Elliot Smith. “I’m a Democrat, but would consider other Republicans like Haley or Christie in the general election, but there’s no chance they can beat Trump.” REUTERS

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