Haley campaign: DeSantis, Ramaswamy ‘fall all over themselves’ to copy Trump
Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign bashed her GOP competitors Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy on Tuesday, accusing them of trying to copy former President Trump.
Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney said in a memo that Haley has not been afraid to be open about the areas in which she agrees and disagrees with the former president and that she is the only one who can defeat him and President Biden.
“Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy fall all over themselves to copy Trump on everything from policy to his leadership style,” Ankney said.
The memo comes two weeks after the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, in which Haley’s performance received praise from many observers. She had several memorable moments during the night, including a clash with Ramaswamy over foreign policy and a branding of Trump as the “most disliked politician in America.”
Her performance led to some Republicans seeing a path for bringing more women to the GOP. She has also stayed in the news following the debate, saying she does not expect the country to be willing to vote for Trump if he is convicted in any of the four criminal cases against him and continuing to spar with Ramaswamy.
Ankney argued in the memo that Trump is “essentially” running as an incumbent and has a lead, but polls in the early states still show most voters are looking for another candidate to support. She said Haley is creating her own path with her candidacy instead of trying to follow what Trump says and supports.
“From DeSantis’s ‘territorial dispute’ comments to, well, everything about Ramaswamy, both seem to think copying Trump is the path to success. Meanwhile, Nikki is blazing her own path …like she always has,” the memo said.
DeSantis, who like Trump has expressed some hesitancy about continued U.S. support for Ukraine in the war with Russia, referred to the conflict as a “territorial dispute” in March before walking his remarks back following backlash he received.
Haley reiterated during the debate that the war is not a territorial dispute, while DeSantis said U.S. support for Ukraine should be “contingent” on its European allies increasing their aid for the eastern European country.
The memo notes comments that Haley made recently criticizing “out-of-control spending” from Democrats, Republicans and Trump, and for a lack of “moral clarity” in dealing with China.
“Her opponents have done none of that. Some run as ‘Trump-lite,’ while others throw rocks at Trump to win points in the media. All are wrong, all will fail, and all show a lack of leadership,” Ankney said. “Nikki stands alone as the candidate with the backbone and vision to lead the Republican Party into the future.”