Pro-Haley super PAC labels DeSantis a Trump “suck up”

Hunter Woodall

The leading super PAC supporting former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley‘s run for president is attempting in a new advertisement to portray one of her main 2024 rivals as a “suck up” to former President Donald Trump

The ad, shared exclusively with CBS News, from the pro-Haley political committee known as Stand For America Fund utilizes audio of a crowd chanting “who’s your daddy” in between photos of Trump and Ron DeSantis in an attempt to call out the Florida governor. 

Parts of an old campaign video from DeSantis’ 2018 run for governor where the Republican evoked some of Trump’s slogans to his family, like building a toy wall with one kid and saying aloud the Trump mantra of “Make America Great Again,” to help teach talking are also interspersed throughout. 

Near the end of the spot, a simple message says that “America needs strength. Not a suck up.” 

The ad is being used for a $1.6 million buy, according to the super PAC. 

GOP Presidential Candidates Nikki Haley And Ron DeSantis Participate In Primary Debate Ahead Of Iowa Caucus
Republican presidential candidates Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley participate in the CNN Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University on January 10, 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

“Voters will not cast their ballots for Desperate DeSantis, a Donald Trump wannabe, when they can vote for the real thing. Nikki Haley is the only candidate in the race who will be able to put the drama of the past eight years behind her and lead America into a strong and secure future.” SFA spokesperson Brittany Yanick said in an announcement about the ad. 

The ad, which will be airing in Iowa before the caucuses, comes just days after a tense debate between Haley and DeSantis on CNN. Trump qualified for the debate, but chose to skip it — as he has every other presidential primary debate this cycle — and instead participated in a town hall on Fox News. 

Haley has found momentum in the race during these final weeks before the Iowa caucuses on Monday and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 23. Yet amid that spotlight, Haley has made some gaffes and statements that her rivals have jumped to attack her on. 

“Nikki Haley is not somebody that has been willing to stand in and fight on behalf of conservatives,” DeSantis charged during the debate earlier this week. 

Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 presidential race. DeSantis and Haley have struggled as they attempt to both run against Trump while also trying not to alienate his still solid base of supporters. 

That situation makes the latest escalation from the pro-Haley super PAC all the more interesting, given that Haley and DeSantis have both largely shied away from focusing much criticism on Trump, especially compared to the antagonistic approach former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took before abandoning his run against the former president earlier this week.  

The super PAC is separate from Haley’s presidential campaign. 

Haley served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under Trump and later gave a speech touting Trump at the 2020 Republican National Convention. 

Trump continues to face a string of criminal charges during his latest White House run, including allegations tied to his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election that he lost. 

Hunter Woodall

2024-01-12 12:00:12 , Home –

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