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Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis step up war of words in fight for Republican nomination – live

Good morning, and welcome to the US politics live blog.

With the debt ceiling standoff already in Washington’s rearview mirror – the Senate passed a bill raising the limit until 2025, and Biden is expected to sign the bill today – the spotlight is now on the 2024 Republican primaries.

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis gave a preview of what is to come over the next year and a half as the 2024 election rolls in. The two Republican candidates held dueling campaign events, one in Iowa and the other in New Hampshire, key states in the primaries.

DeSantis in his speeches has been throwing soft punches at Trump, not mentioning the name of the former president, but instead trying to highlight his youth (DeSantis is 44 while Trump is 76) and saying that he can fully serve two terms unlike some people – who should not be named.

But some sparring happened later in the day when Trump responded to this by saying that he could shape things up in six months, not eight years.

“When he says eight years, every time I hear it, I wince, because I say if it takes eight years to turn this around, then you don’t want him. You don’t want him as your president,” Trump said. “It’ll take me six months to have it totally the way it was, we’ll have it fast.”

Off-stage, DeSantis responded to a reporter’s question on Trump’s comeback with: “Why didn’t he do it in his first four years?”

The dynamic that plays out between the two as the election gets closer will be interesting to watch. DeSantis used to be a staunch Trump supporter, which ultimately helped him build a national profile, making it hard for him to come out of the gate with attacks against him. But DeSantis appears to have much of the Republican establishment behind him, as donations to his campaign are showing. He’s still trailing Trump in the polls, but there’s still a year left to change things.

Stay tuned for more live updates.

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