Taking note of Nikki Haley’s continued rise in the polls, Trump is firing back with scathing remarks on his Republican competitor.
Rising support for Haley
According to the latest polling data from FiveThirtyEight, Haley is closing in on Ron DeSantis in GOP primary polls. While Haley is still currently trailing far behind Trump’s lead, the ex-president has clearly taken notice of her increasing popularity.
Trump insults ‘High Tax Haley’
In response to Haley’s success, Trump and his allies have changed her nickname from “birdbrain” to “High Tax Haley” in the latest pro-Trump super PAC ad. The ad’s narrator states, “New Hampshire can’t afford Nikki ‘High Tax’ Haley.”
Trump condemns ‘fake’ poll
The ad came after Haley received significant support from New Hampshire, falling just 4 points behind Trump in a December poll. In a social media post, the ex-president dismissed the news as a “fake New Hampshire poll.”
Trump’s scathing post
He continued, “Just another scam! Ratings challenged FoxNews will play it to the hilt. Sununu now one of the least popular governors in the U.S. Real poll to follow.”
$3.8 million on anti-Haley attacks
However, despite Trump’s continued insistence that Haley poses no threat, his investment in anti-Haley campaigns tells a different story. MAGA Inc. has now spent $3.4 million on the “High Tax Haley” ad and another $370,000 on text and mail campaigns also targeting the former U.N. ambassador.
Haley more of a threat than DeSantis
In contrast, MAGA Inc. has invested $2 million in ads specifically targeting DeSantis. Haley supporters see this spending disparity as a sign that Trump sees Haley as his only true rival in the Republican primaries.
Haley’s camp fights back
Before the anti-Haley ad was released, Haley mocked Trump by tweeting, “Someone’s getting nervous.” She then fired back with her own super PAC ad, which stated that the ex-president had resorted to making false claims because he “knows Haley’s the only one who can beat him.”
Trump scared of Haley’s momentum
Haley’s allies voiced similar sentiments about Trump’s latest attack. Olivia Perez-Cubas, Haley’s spokesperson, stated, “Donald Trump’s false attack ad sends a loud and clear message: Nikki Haley is surging and Trump is scared.”
Is Haley too soft on Trump?
However, other political commentators have criticized Haley’s reluctance to go on the offense against Trump. Stuart Stevens, Never Trump Republican and Mitt Romney’s 2012 lead strategist, told the Daily Beast, “It’s all an extension of standing on stage in a race against someone who has 91 counts of indictment against them, and you don’t talk about that. I mean, it’s absurd.”
Stuart Stevens criticizes Haley
Stevens continued, “It’s just a very confused candidacy. She’s running because she would really like to be president. That’s OK, but it’s not a particularly compelling reason for anyone else to vote for her.”
Chris Christie chimes in
Chris Christie also called out both Haley and DeSantis in his super PAC ad by stating that the pair have focused only on targeting each other rather than directly challenging Trump.
More attacks to come?
However, with both Trump and Haley amping up their direct attacks on one another, many commentators predict more anti-Trump messaging to come from Haley’s camp in the near future.