DeSantis Says Haley Has ‘Poisoned the Well’ By Courting Liberal Voters

Governor Ron DeSantis says Nikki Haley is relying on the votes of “liberal democrats” in her challenge against Donald Trump. During an interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade over the weekend, DeSantis accused Haley of having “poisoned the well” with her campaign strategy and defended the former President against her attacks.

“Our party, about 80 percent are conservative populist voters and I think Nikki Haley, she is really playing to the 20 percent who are more McCain-Romney Republicans,” DeSantis told Kilmeade during an airing of ‘One Nation.’

“Look, we need a big tent. We need everyone in but once you go in that direction, you really poisoned the well with the vast majority of Republican primary voters.”

Haley’s campaign received criticism following the New Hampshire primary and Iowa Caucuses last month, where her campaign received a significant boost from Democrat voters switching parties.

One report by MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki found that less than half of all voters in the New Hampshire primary identified as Republican at 47 percent—a record number of voters identified as Democrat at 8 percent, while 45 percent identified as Independent. The latter two groups favored Haley.

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During the interview, DeSantis said he had seen the turnout of Democrat voters for Haley during his campaign in Iowa.

“I thought her strategy from the beginning was curious, I didn’t think there was a prospect for her to actually win, and we saw that in Iowa where obviously Donald Trump won a strong victory,” the Governor told Kilmeade.

“I came in second. Nikki Haley came in third but the thing was, there were 7,000 Democrats who showed up and switched to Republican on the night of the caucus. I was at a couple of these caucus sites, these were liberal Democrats, they had N-95 masks on, they had shirts that had liberal slogans on and that was a core part of her strategy, was to appeal to those people. So her strategy has been to appeal to people who aren’t kind of stock Republicans but that’s not going to work in a Republican primary”

“But it’s definitely not going to work against somebody who’s as well known and has already been president like Donald Trump,” he added.

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Less than one week remains before the GOP primary in Haley’s home state of South Carolina. Despite her serving two terms as the state’s governor, polls currently project a blowout victory for Trump by more than 30 points.

Asked whether Trump’s ongoing legal challenges could thwart his chances of winning the nomination, DeSantis said it was unlikely.

“Donald Trump is going to have almost 95% of the delegates. Whatever happens in legal cases, and I raised that is a concern when I was running and not enough voters thought that was something they were concerned about, at least in Iowa, but he is going to have the delegates.”

“He’s going to have to make decisions about it. I don’t see any situation where he would bow out even in the face of criminal convictions, and I thought that from the beginning, it was ultimately up to the voters to make that decision.”


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