Trump wasn't there to defend himself, but comes away relatively unscathed in DeSantis-Haley Iowa debate

DES MOINES, Iowa – It was a slugfest.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, sharing the debate stage in Iowa five days before the state’s caucuses kick off the Republican presidential nominating calendar, spent much of their two-hour showdown Wednesday night attacking each other and disagreeing on policy.

That allowed the absent front-runner in the GOP race – former President Donald Trump – to emerge relatively unscathed in a debate that was held a couple of hours after another contender – former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, suspended his campaign.

Trump, who skipped a Republican debate for the fifth straight time since last summer, was a few miles away in downtown Des Moines, taking part in a Fox News town hall.

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