Nikki Haley’s Campaign Bashes Ron DeSantis Ahead Of His Expected Presidential Launch, Memo Reads

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Former South Carolina Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s campaign bashed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday ahead of his likely presidential announcement, according to a campaign memo.

The Florida governor is widely expected to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday to run for president, and Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney sent out a campaign memo arguing that DeSantis isn’t a “credible alternative” to former President Donald Trump that the GOP is looking for, the memo reads. While DeSantis positions himself as “Trump without the drama,” Ankney argued that he’s merely “Trump without the charm.”

“DeSantis might not have Trump’s taste for incendiary tweets but make no mistake: his record shows that his ‘leadership style’ will only lead to more drama,” Ankney wrote. (RELATED: Nikki Haley Invites Disney To Move To South Carolina Amid Battle With Ron DeSantis)

U.S. President Donald Trump introduces Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a homecoming campaign rally at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The memo highlighted several issues the campaign believes make DeSantis a “disorganized” candidate, like the proposed legislation that would have changed Florida’s defamation laws to make it easier to sue media outlets, a Florida congressman declining to endorse DeSantis because of the lack of communication, personal attacks on the governor, campaign leaks, his feud with Disney and more.

Ankney argues DeSantis is “echoing” the former president’s policies and persona, and dubbed the Florida governor a “mini-Trump,” according to the memo. The memo points out DeSantis’ record in Congress, where he supported entitlement reform and sending aid to Ukraine, and claims he’s changed positions on both of those issues “because he saw Trump do it.”

Haley’s campaign makes the pitch that she has her own lane to be an alternative to the DeSantis-Trump drama in the GOP primary, and has a different approach to the two men on entitlements, the Ukraine war and abortion, according to the memo.

“DeSantis has the drama, without the charm. It’s Nikki Haley who best represents those who want a different style and approach, and a new generation of leadership to fix America,” Ankney wrote. “Voters deserve a choice, not an echo.”

DeSantis’ political team declined to comment.

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