More GOP debates canceled as Donald Trump continues to duck out

New York, New York - ABC News canceled their upcoming GOP debate event in New Hampshire after presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she would not attend unless Donald Trump agreed to participate.

ABC News canceled their upcoming GOP debate shortly after candidate Nikki Haley said she wouldn't attend if Donald Trump refused to participate.
ABC News canceled their upcoming GOP debate shortly after candidate Nikki Haley said she wouldn't attend if Donald Trump refused to participate.  © Collage: Jim WATSON / AFP & JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

ABC News announced the news in a statement on Tuesday, citing a lack of participants for the surprise decision.

"Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race," the network said.

"As a result... ABC News and WMUR-TV will not be moving forward with Thursday's Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire."

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The cancellation came only hours after Haley insinuated in a social media post that she would not participate unless Trump did too.

"We've had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them," Haley argued.

"He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden," she added. "I look forward to it."

Ron DeSantis responds to Nikki Haley's debate message

Earlier this week, Haley suffered a huge disappointment when she came in third place in the Iowa caucuses, which came as a surprise as polls projected her coming in second behind Trump and ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Before ABC News canceled the event, DeSantis called out Haley for not mentioning him in her post, arguing that "she is not running for the nomination, she's running to be Trump's VP."

"I won't snub New Hampshire voters like both Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and plan to honor my commitments," he added. "I look forward to debating two empty podiums in the Granite State this week."

UPDATE, 3:50 PM EST: CNN follows suit and cancels their upcoming GOP debate event

Following in ABC News' footsteps, CNN announced Wednesday that they too have canceled a planned upcoming GOP debate scheduled for Sunday, according to Politico.

A spokesperson for the network said the decision comes "as only one qualifying candidate accepted our invitation to take the stage," referring to DeSantis.

The network, instead, will host a town hall event with Haley on Thursday, as DeSantis previously participated in a CNN town hall on Tuesday.

Next week, voters in New Hampshire will cast their votes for the GOP nominee when the state's caucuses begin on January 23.

Cover photo: Collage: Jim WATSON / AFP & JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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