Donald Trump’s campaign is intensifying its criticism of Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, alleging that she is actively aiding President Joe Biden’s campaign by staying in the race. In a memo released on Monday, the Trump campaign claimed that Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Nikki Haley, and her team were supporting Joe Biden. According to Trump’s campaign team, Haley is helping Biden by simply remaining in the race when it is clear to even a “ten-year-old” that she has no chance of winning.
As justification for the comment, his team points to the results of the New Hampshire primary, where Trump secured a substantial win with 54.3% compared to Haley’s 43.2%. In New Hampshire, independent voters and registered Republicans are allowed to participate in the Republican primary. Because of this, Trump’s campaign suggested that there was an unprecedented effort to get behavioral Democrats to support “one of their own, Nikki Haley.”
After losing to Trump by 11 points in the New Hampshire primary, Haley has been under pressure to drop out and endorse Trump. Despite these calls, Haley has decided to remain in the race. Her decision to remain in the race is because Americans deserve better than the current two options.
Haley, who has become Donald Trump’s primary competitor for the GOP nomination, has also intensified her fundraising efforts. She has scheduled at least 13 events nationwide before South Carolina’s primary next month. This push to raise more funds also drew ire from Trump and his campaign team, who doubled down on the “fact” that Haley had no viable route to clinching the Republican nomination despite backing from Americans for Prosperity Action, linked to Charles Koch, a wealthy Kansas businessman. Haley’s fundraising drive also plans to appeal to the American Opportunity Alliance in Florida. This group includes affluent figures like Ken Griffin, Paul Singer, and the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs.
Haley’s success at securing funds had Trump posting on Truth Social that anyone who donated to Haley would be “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” In response to Trump’s post, Haley’s campaign came up with witty tees that read “BARRED. PERMANENTLY.”
Lately, Haley’s criticism of Trump has grown sharper, leading her to dedicate the upcoming month to campaigning in South Carolina, with the primary on February 24. When confronted by a group of Trump supporters at a recent rally in her home state, Haley mocked Trump’s comment about his New Hampshire primary win, describing it as a “temper tantrum” and suggesting that he felt threatened by her. This remark was met with enthusiastic approval from the audience. Haley also revealed that her campaign garnered $1 million in online and smaller donations within a day following her New Hampshire speech.
Despite rejecting the “moderate” label, Haley’s campaign attempts to strategically engage independents, a demographic that contributed significantly to her over 43% vote share in New Hampshire’s primary. Betsy Ankney, her campaign manager, highlighted the role of independents in GOP primaries in a recent memo, pointing to their crucial support for Trump in his initial 2016 run. Ankney underscored that 11 of the 16 Super Tuesday states allow open or semi-open primaries, where non-Republican registered voters can participate.
Ankney noted that Virginia, Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Vermont are among the states with demographics that could prove advantageous. She mentioned that following Super Tuesday (March 5, 2024), a clearer understanding of the race’s status will emerge. Ankney advised that until then, it would be wise for everyone to remain calm and patient.
The next Republican primary will occur in Haley’s former state of South Carolina, where she served as governor from 2011 to 2017. However, according to a FiveThirtyEight poll, Trump maintains a significant lead of over 30 points on average.