Amid growing calls for the lesser candidates in the Republican presidential primary to step out of the race, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is putting her foot down on the gas.
In a follow-up to what many saw as a favorable performance in last week’s GOP debate — despite getting down and dirty with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — Haley’s campaign announced a $10 million TV, radio, and digital ad blitz in Iowa and New Hampshire, beginning the first week in December.
The announcement comes as Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) suspended his campaign, with Haley looking to overtake Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to emerge as the top alternative to Donald Trump, who has elected to avoid the primary debates.
“Nikki Haley’s momentum and path to victory are clear. The same can’t be said for Ron DeSantis,” Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney said in a statement. “Nikki’s campaign is built to win the primary against Donald Trump and all polls show she is by far the strongest Republican against Joe Biden in the general.”
— Ken Farnaso (@KLF) November 13, 2023
Her campaign took a shot at the strategy DeSantis is employing, saying that while he is “desperately staking his entire campaign on Iowa, Nikki Haley will at least double DeSantis’ cash-strapped advertising in Iowa alone.”
“We have plenty of money that we’re going to be on TV with,” Haley said on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to be strong in Iowa. We’re going to be strong in New Hampshire. We’re going to be strong in South Carolina because we spent our money well.”
The DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down has reserved about $6.4 million for ads in Iowa and New Hampshire from Nov. 1 through January 2024, according to CBS News.
DeSantis campaign communications director Andrew Romeo suggested that as voters “look behind the curtain” on Haley, they will not like what they see.
“No amount of money will be enough for Nikki Haley to conceal her pro-China, pro-Gaza aid, pro-gas tax, and pro-Hillary record,” Romeo said. “As Americans look behind the curtain, they will see she does not have the extensive record of conservative achievements that Ron DeSantis boasts.”
He also referred to her spending in the race as “in-kind” contributions to the Trump Campaign.
“It’s clear there is no way Nikki Haley can beat Donald Trump, and every dollar spent on her candidacy is an in-kind to the Trump Campaign,” Romeo said. “Ron DeSantis has the best combination of endorsements, ground game, and message in the early states, which is why the former president continues to attack only him.”
“We are confident the Iowa voters will see who will best represent them and their values, he added.“
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