This debate is set to occur at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Alabama, a staunchly Republican state unlikely to be a battleground in the 2024 general election, is nonetheless significant for its early primary scheduled for March 5.
The debate stage will feature Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, both vying for the second spot in the primary race.Tech entrepreneurVivek Ramaswamy is close to qualifying for participation. Notably absent will be former President Donald Trump, who leads the primary field by a substantial margin, as indicated by most national polls.
Trump, having skipped previous debates and advocating for a focus on the general election, plans to attend a fundraiser in Florida for the Make America Great Again (MAGA) super PAC. In a departure from earlier debates, Trump does not intend to host a competing event, according to his co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita.
Meanwhile, Haley is set to debut her campaign’s inaugural television advertisement titled “Moral Clarity.” This ad positions Haley, who previously served as the US ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration, as a candidate who distinctly understands the global dichotomy of good and evil, a USA Today report said.
In the advertisement, Haley asserts, “Today, China, Russia, and Iran are advancing. There’s chaos in our streets and college campuses. Our security is threatened at home and abroad. It’s time for a new generation of conservative leadership.” The ad features visuals of Haley’s activities at the UN and her interactions with voters during her campaign.
Haley emphasizes the need for a fresh approach in leadership, saying, “We have to leave behind the chaos and drama of the past and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose.” This ad release coincides with a growing momentum for Haley’s presidential campaign. Recently, Americans for Prosperity Action, a significant conservative grassroots organization established by the Koch brothers, endorsed Haley. The organization has pledged substantial financial and volunteer support for her campaign.
Recent polls indicate Haley’s rising popularity, placing her ahead of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and second to former President Donald Trump in the Republican primary race, although Trump leads by a significant margin.
The 30-second advertisement is a part of Haley’s recent $10 million ad investment targeting Iowa and New Hampshire, the initial states in the GOP primary voting process.
(With inputs from agencies)