Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign took aim at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in its first attack ad of the 2024 season exclusively shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The online video titled “Desperate DeSantis” will launch on Friday following a weeks’ worth of feuding with the Florida governor over the candidates’ respective responses to the Israel-Hamas war, the DCNF has learned. Haley’s video includes clips of DeSantis on the campaign trail and numerous media segments of commentators describing how they believe his support is waning in the GOP primary, followed by interviews where the former ambassador lays out her foreign policy preferences and attacks the Florida governor during the second presidential debate.
“Why is Desperate DeSantis attacking Nikki Haley? He’s losing to Nikki. And it’s easy to see why,” the video reads. “Nikki’s out-classed him at every turn. Sorry Ron. Fake Attacks. 5 campaign ‘reboots.’ Phony smiles. Your desperation is showing.” (RELATED: Nikki Haley Jumps To Second In Key Early State: POLL)
Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis’ presidential bid, posted a clip on Monday from an interview Haley did with CNN’s Jake Tapper, claiming she said the U.S. should take refugees from Gaza following the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel. Haley’s remarks were actually in response to DeSantis’ previous comments about Palestinians being antisemitic, to which she said “separate civilians from terrorists.”
Haley can also be seen in the campaign video advocating for countries like Qatar, Iran and Turkey to take in refugees, and encouraging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “finish” Hamas.
Along with the video, Haley’s campaign rolled out a timeline of DeSantis’ presidential campaign, spanning from two months prior to his official announcement through October, listing what it views as his stumbles on the trail.
Haley raised $8.2 million during the third fundraising quarter, and ended with $11.6 million cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission filings. DeSantis brought in $11.2 million for the same time period, and enters the year’s final quarter with $12.3 million in the bank.
The DeSantis campaign had roughly $5 million to spend on the primary, while the Haley campaign had $9.1 million.
While the DeSantis campaign spent roughly as much as it raised in the third quarter, the Haley campaign had a burn rate of roughly 40%. Moreover, the DeSantis campaign had roughly $1 million in unpaid invoices, whereas the Haley campaign had no outstanding debt.
“Ron DeSantis is running a serious campaign to challenge Donald Trump for our party’s nomination for president. Nikki Haley is clearly running a traditional Washington D.C. committee blueprint to move talking heads rather than real primary voters,” DeSantis campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin told the DCNF in a statement. “Ron DeSantis has been crystal clear: not a single penny of US tax dollars to the Gaza Strip, and not a single pro-Hamas refugee on American soil. After initially expressing support for America taking in refugees from Gaza, Nikki Haley now scrambles and serves up this video as a distraction.”
An Iowa State University/Civiqs poll released on Oct. 12 indicated Haley garnered 11% support behind Trump with 55% and DeSantis with 17%. In New Hampshire, Haley received 19% support behind only Trump with 49%, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe/USA Today survey released Oct. 4.
A Winthrop University poll released Oct. 4 showed Haley in second with 16.6% in her home state of South Carolina. In Nevada, Haley received 8% support in fourth place behind Trump, DeSantis and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, according to an early October Terrance Group survey.
The RealClearPolitics average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Sept. 27 and Oct. 16, indicates Haley has 7.8% support, behind only former President Donald Trump and DeSantis at 57.9% and 13.4%, respectively.
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