DeSantis Takes Primary Battle to Haley’s Home State
The DeSantis camp is running an all-out blitz against rival Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley, with the Florida Governor taking his campaign to her home state of South Carolina this week. On Thursday, DeSantis kicked off his tour of the Palmetto State at Anderson University, where he hosted a ‘Veterans for DeSantis’ campaign event. Later, he traveled to Winthrop College for a Federation of Republican Women Presidential Forum, where he took a shot at Haley for “indulging media narratives” on abortion.
Haley has repeatedly advocated for keeping abortion laws at the state level, saying that a federal ban would unlikely get Congressional approval. Over the summer, she called for greater “consensus” on the issue and said the GOP should focus on ensuring state laws do not “put a woman in jail or give her the death penalty” for getting an abortion.
DeSantis, however, says Haley’s characterization of the issue is a false narrative.
“Well, look, I mean, of course, you’re not going to jail. No pro-lifer has ever argued for that,” DeSantis told the audience. “So when she’s saying that she’s indulging media narratives, that’s a narrative. That’s not how it is.”
DeSantis said that Haley was “playing into some of the stereotypes that the left uses against conservatives.” He urged the crowd, “Don’t accept the media narratives; fight back against the media narrative. I’m not trying to please the media. I’m trying to do what’s right.”
“It really is a bottom-up thing. You’re gonna have to work on the local level, you’re gonna have to work on the state level, to be able to advance protections,”
Both DeSantis and Haley have endorsed national 15-week bans.
Ron DeSantis says that Nikki Haley indulges the media narratives and plays into the stereotypes that the left uses against conservatives. He goes on to say that we must fight back against these fake media narratives and do what's right.
This brother gets it! DeSantis 2024! pic.twitter.com/MpZHovf6wb
— Unfiltered☢Boss (@Unfilteredboss1) October 19, 2023
The Florida Governor’s comments come as the DeSantis-aligned super PAC ‘Never Back Down’ rolls out the first significant TV attack ad buy of the 2024 primary. On Tuesday, the PAC ran its first TV spot against Haley as part of a $2 million buy in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The commercial targeted Haley for remarks she made about Gaza during CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday.
“We should care about the Palestinian citizens,” Haley said in the interview. “America has always been sympathetic to the fact that you can separate civilians from terrorists.”
Contrasting Haley’s “sympathetic” views with DeSantis’ more hardline approach, the ad followed up her remarks with a clip of the Florida Governor’s response.
“She’s trying to be politically correct. She’s trying to please the media and people on the left. I don’t care about that,” DeSantis said. “I can tell you this as president the number of people we will bring in from Gaza is zero. We are not going to do that.”
Ron DeSantis is speaking the truth about Gaza refugees.
Nikki Haley is trying to be politically correct and please the media. pic.twitter.com/VArmTLGBKr
— Never Back Down (@NvrBackDown24) October 17, 2023
👀Pro-DeSantis SuperPAC Never Back Down out with $977K in ad buys hitting Nikki Haley in Iowa, the first significant independent expenditure against Haley in the 2024 cycle. https://t.co/Kruw1Thp9i pic.twitter.com/TGk9P3eFSW
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) October 19, 2023
As Haley has come under fire for her comments, she appeared on Fox News to defend her record on Tuesday.
“I’ve always said we shouldn’t take any Gazan refugees in the U.S. I said it when I was at the U.N. that we shouldn’t take Syrian refugees into the U.S. I believe that those in the region should take them,”
‘Never Back Down’ offered a rebuttal, however, pointing out Haley’s opposition to Trump’s proposed travel ban in 2015, which she called “absolutely un-American” and “unconstitutional.”
At the Republican Women forum on Thursday, DeSantis also addressed Haley’s remarks after his presentation.
“Why would you be talking about vetting people if you’re not going to be bringing them in?” DeSantis said.
“She got blowback and then she changed course … I’ve been very clear: You don’t bring refugees from Gaza to the United States. We don’t need to import the problems.”
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