DeSantis Shreds Haley in GOP Debate: ‘She Caves Every Time the Left Comes After Her’
With the Iowa caucuses just over the horizon, the shrinking GOP primary field gathered in Alabama on Wednesday for the fourth presidential debate. With Donald Trump again opting out of the debate, the four remaining candidates on stage–Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Governors Nikki Haley and Chris Christie, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are battling to be the standalone alternative to the former President, who is currently leading in the polls.
But while the four candidates are seeking to unseat Trump as the frontrunner, it was Nikki Haley who appeared to take the most incoming fire throughout the evening.
“You have other candidates up here, like Nikki Haley, she caves every time the left comes after her,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, criticizing her liberal record on issues including immigration and China. Contrasting himself as a “fighter,” DeSantis also called out Haley’s newfound support from Democrat super-donor Reid Hoffman.
DeSantis’ criticism of Haley was echoed by Vivek Ramaswamy, who accused Haley of profiting from her brief role in the Trump administration. “Now you’re a multimillionaire,” the entrepreneur said. “That math does not add up. It adds up to the fact you’re corrupt,” he continued.
The 21st century needs to be an American century.
We cannot let it be a Chinese century. pic.twitter.com/EDblGHHKrL
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) December 7, 2023
On Tuesday, the pro-Haley super PAC’ Stand for America’ received a $250,000 donation from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. Hoffman, who has a reputation as a mega-donor to Democrat causes, also hosted a fundraiser for President Joe Biden’s re-election efforts last summer.
Later that day, a spokesman for DeSantis told reporters, “It makes perfect sense that liberal Democrat billionaires would support Nikki Haley’s bid for the White House because she is a liberal.”
On the debate stage, Haley responded to her critics, saying that they were “just jealous” of the support she received.
“In terms of these donors that are supporting me, they’re just jealous. They wish they were supporting them,”
However, Haley did receive support from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who interjected to defend her at one point.
“This is a smart, accomplished woman,” Christie told Ramaswamy during a heated exchange. “You should stop insulting her.”
Megyn Kelly tees up the gender ideology issue to Chris Christie and Ron DeSantis delivers the knockout blow on both Christie and Haley to the loudest cheers of the night. Masterful stuff.
"As a parent, you do not have the right to abuse your kids." 🔥👇 pic.twitter.com/DBVyoxIjML
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) December 7, 2023
During the debate, DeSantis also accused Haley of supporting mass immigration for the sake of helping out major corporations and, by extension, her donors. “They want to use economic power to impose a left-wing agenda in this country,” DeSantis said of the major companies.
Later in the evening, DeSantis also criticized Haley for shooting down a measure as South Carolina Governor that would have limited public bathroom use to a person’s biological sex. “I stood up for little girls, you didn’t,” the Florida Governor said.
Despite the heavy criticism, Haley still attempted to laugh off DeSantis’s and Ramaswamy’s comments, telling them, “I love the attention, fellas.”
According to RealClearPolitics, Haley sits in third place behind DeSantis, with Ramaswamy trailing in a distant fourth. Former President Donald Trump currently leads the pack by nearly 50 points.
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- DeSantis Says Haley Has ‘Poisoned the Well’ By Courting Liberal Voters - February 19, 2024
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