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DES MOINES, IOWA - JANUARY 10: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and f

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

DES MOINES — Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis squared off in the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses as Donald Trump held his own town hall in the state.

In a debate hosted by CNN in Des Moines, Haley and DeSantis took a number of jabs at one another as they battle to become the top alternative to Trump.

The two candidates sparred over foreign policy, abortion, and the crisis at the southern border, and called out the former president for refusing to participate in any of the debates.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley claimed she passed the “toughest illegal immigration law in the country” in her state during her administration. She said she would defund sanctuary cities and implement the “remain in Mexico” policy.

Haley also said another Trump presidency would be “four more years of chaos.”

Desantis challenged Haley’s record on keeping bathrooms separate, which is an issue that has been front and center among a lot of Republicans.

The debate came just hours after Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped out of the race and pleaded with voters not to support Trump. The Iowa caucuses are set for Monday.

Chris Christie is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race.

Christie failed to gain any traction in the GOP polls and said he doesn’t see a path forward. The announcement leaves Trump, Desantis, Haley, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy as the only remaining Republican candidates.