Robert F. Bukaty Associated Press Nikki Haley at a campaign event on January 2 in Rye, New Hampshire
Two Republican candidates rivaling for a second place in the race for the Republican nomination for the American presidential election attacked Donald Trump, well in the lead, a few days before the opening of the primaries.
The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and the former ambassador to the UN under the Trump administration, Nikki Haley, openly criticized the ex-president on CNN Thursday evening, eleven days before the Republican vote in Iowa.
In exchanges with voters organized by CNN in Iowa, neither really mentioned the other. Each has portrayed themselves as a better candidate than Donald Trump to dethrone Democratic President Joe Biden in November.
Mr. Trump, 77, four times criminally charged, faces the judgment of voters for the first time since leaving the White House in unimaginable chaos in 2021. Until then, his rivals for the nomination had held back their criticisms.
- An American presidential election which begins in a climate of distrust
- Candidate Nikki Haley criticized for her comments on America's slavery past
“The reality, rightly or wrongly, is that chaos follows” Trump, said Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, the only woman in the race and the new darling of the American right.
“We cannot have a country in disorder, in a world on fire, and go through four more years of chaos,” she insisted. “We won’t survive this. »
She stressed that polls credit her with a clear victory over Joe Biden, which would give her a clear mandate to pursue Republican policies. “It’s time to move beyond President Trump and it’s time to start focusing on how to make America stronger,” she said.
Ultraconservative Ron DeSantis, favorite in early 2023 among candidates other than Trump, also insisted on the need to move on in November and avoid “a referendum on Trump and the past” .
“What you want is a referendum on Biden’s failures, on our positive vision for this country. This is what I propose. »
Mr. DeSantis also criticized Mr. Trump for his lack of a real campaign in Iowa: “Donald Trump doesn't want to show up on the debate stage.”
He also attacked Mr. Trump on abortion, which the majority of the Republican Party opposes. Asked whether Mr. Trump himself was against it, he assured: “of course not.”
The latest edition of the influential poll from the Des Moines Register, a daily newspaper in Iowa, indicates voting intentions at 51% in favor of Donald Trump in this State, up eight points from October.
The 50 states of the Union will vote until June to allocate their quota of delegates to the candidates for the national convention in July, which will officially nominate the Republican presidential candidate.