DeSantis Ramps Up Attacks On Haley Ahead of Final GOP Debate

Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign is stepping up its attacks against former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley ahead of Wednesday’s fourth and final GOP primary debate. With the Iowa caucuses less than six weeks away, time is running out for the two candidates to position themselves as the standalone alternative to frontrunner Donald Trump.

According to RealClearPolitics, The former President maintains a lead of nearly 50 points in national polling for the GOP primary. Governor DeSantis is currently polling in second place, edging out Haley by just a few points. Despite a $10 million ad buy from Haley last month, the Florida Governor has managed to hold on.

While Democrats have consistently painted Haley as an ‘extreme’ right-winger throughout the primary, the approach of the DeSantis campaign has instead been to target her more liberal positions and paint her as insufficiently conservative. That messaging received a boost Tuesday after Haley’s Super PAC’ Stand for America’ received a $250,000 donation from Democrat super donor Reid Hoffman.

“It makes perfect sense that liberal Democrat billionaires would support Nikki Haley’s bid for the White House because she is a liberal,” DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin told reporters Tuesday.

“She would let corporations set immigration policy, roll out the red carpet for China, hike taxes on hardworking Americans, and require social media users to register with the government.”

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This week, DeSantis told reporters that he felt Haley represents “the last gasp of a failed establishment.” In a statement to Fox News, he said,

“She’s out of step with a vast, vast majority of Republican voters. But I think some of those elements are people that really want to take the party back to a failed establishment of yesteryear. And that we know for sure will not happen.”

The latest attacks on Haley follow the rollout of the DeSantis campaign’s ‘Real Nikki Haley’ website last month, which accuses the former South Carolina Governor of being “pro-Hillary Clinton,” “pro-China and cozy with the Chinese Communist Party,” and “anti-free speech,” among other labels.

“Nikki Haley is not the conservative she pretends to be, so the Ron DeSantis for President campaign is launching a new microsite today shining a light on the real Nikki Haley.” the DeSantis campaign said at the time. “The site will allow Republican primary voters to see for themselves that Haley has supported every liberal cause under the sun.”

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One section of the website cites a 2011 interview Haley gave to the New York Times, where she credited a speech by Hillary Clinton as having inspired her to run for office.

This week, that interview became the subject of a million-dollar ad buy in Iowa by the pro-DeSantis PAC’ Fight Right,’ accusing Haley of wanting to raise taxes and open the southern border “like Hillary.”

“Now the globalist Wall Street bankers who financed Hillary’s campaigns are funding Haley’s campaigns,” the ad says. “And just like Hillary Clinton, Nikki Haley shouldn’t be president,” before adding that Haley is “wrong for America like Hillary.”

In 2011, Haley told The Times,

“Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker on a leadership institute, and she said that when it comes to women running for office, there will be everybody that tells you why you shouldn’t, but that’s all the reasons why we need you to do it, and I walked out of there thinking ‘That’s it. I’m running for office.'”

Other stories you may want to read:

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Gov. DeSantis Proposes $114.4B State Budget

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