In the wake of a stellar performance by GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley during the recent primary debate, the Trump campaign responded strongly.
They highlighted an interview from 2012 when Haley, in her role as the South Carolina governor, expressed admiration for Hillary Clinton’s influence on her political aspirations. In this interview with The New York Times, Haley mentioned a motivating speech by Clinton advocating for increased female political participation.
The Trump campaign circulated an email showcasing various Haley quotes, prominently featuring the statement about Clinton being an inspiration from the Times article. Rather than providing insights, the Trump team seemed intent on drawing a connection between Haley and Clinton, a contentious figure among Republicans.
Haley’s debate performance was notable, with her holding her own against fellow Republican candidates and voicing criticisms of former President Trump. One such critique was on his China policy. Haley emphasized the former president’s oversight on China’s actions, from intellectual property theft to establishing a spy base near Cuba.
The Trump team also questioned Haley’s stance on Ukraine and compared it to Trump’s own approach. Recently, Haley commented on Trump’s wavering stance on Ukraine, saying he became “weak” and was neglecting fiscal policies.
Additionally, the Trump campaign highlighted old commendations from Haley about Paul Ryan, another recent critic of Trump. Interestingly, there were no criticisms leveled against other primary contenders.
After a recent New Hampshire primary poll, Haley has surged to the second position, only behind Trump, marking her best poll performance so far.
Responding to the critiques, Haley’s campaign commented on Trump’s apparent insecurity regarding her rise. Ken Farnaso, a spokesman for Haley, remarked, “It appears Donald Trump sees Nikki Haley as a threat.”
Chris LaCivita, a Trump adviser, expressed dissatisfaction with the debate and urged the Republican Party to rally behind Trump and refocus on opposing President Biden.
Despite his absence from the recent debate, Trump seems unlikely to participate in the upcoming GOP debate in Miami. As the race continues, Trump maintains a significant lead. Current national polls indicate Trump with a majority support of around 54% in the GOP primary. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis follows at 14%, and Nikki Haley holds approximately 6%.