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Haley Campaign Press Release - Daily Caller: DeSantis' Baseless Attacks On Haley Reveal His Desperation

December 29, 2023

By: Jennifer Nassour
Online here

It's a political cliché, but triteness doesn't make it any less true: losing candidates do desperate, stupid things.

Ron DeSantis is losing. Over nine months, he and his allies have spent $100 million only to lose half his support in the polls. Now, two weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, he's boxed himself into an Iowa-or-bust corner with his presidential ambitions hanging by a thread.

As a result, he is also desperate. DeSantis is throwing a wide variety of attacks at the wall in the hopes that something — anything — will stick. The problem is many of the attacks on Nikki Haley reek of hypocrisy because DeSantis had the exact same positions.

Bathroom Bills

Ron DeSantis will tell you that he signed a bill directing people to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender at birth. That's true — he signed a bathroom bill on the cusp of launching his presidential campaign. Now rewind four years.

In 2018, as a gubernatorial candidate — before he refashioned himself into an anti-woke warrior — DeSantis was dismissive of government meddling in the bathroom issue. He told Frank Luntz, "I think getting into the bathroom wars — I don't think that's a good use of our time." That hasn't stopped DeSantis from attacking Nikki Haley from having the same stance in 2016.

The truth is that the bathroom issue wasn't as widespread in 2016 and 2018. Both Haley and DeSantis were aligned with the times when they argued it wasn't necessary for the government to get involved. But DeSantis has doubled down on this line of attack even as fact checkers point out this inconvenient truth.

Social Security

In a CNN town hall, Ron DeSantis attacked Haley for proposing an increase in the retirement age for workers in their 20s in order to deal with the Social Security's looming insolvency. Has DeSantis forgotten that he called for raising the retirement age in 2012 as a congressional candidate because "the system was not originally designed for people to be on it for 30 years"? Has DeSantis forgotten that he voted for budget resolutions that would have raised the retirement age to 70 in 2013, 2014, and 2015?

I'm sure, his memory is just fine. More likely, his desperation is just getting worse by the day.


Haley has admitted that she recruited Chinese businesses to South Carolina 10 years ago and also acknowledged that America's approach to China has rightly shifted since then. That hasn't stopped Ron DeSantis from spending millions of dollars attacking Haley on China. Nor has it stopped him from denying his own ties to Chinese businesses as governor.

In the third presidential debate, DeSantis went after Haley, claiming that, "You gave [China] stuff, I didn't give them anything." This is demonstrably false. The DeSantis administration gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in state subsidies to Jinko Solar, a Chinese company that was raided by the Department of Homeland security six months ago.

DeSantis also accepts campaign contributions from a Chinese-backed company while denying China's role in the company. And he recruited Chinese businesses for several years and boasted about his administration's efforts in promotional reports.

George Floyd

Ron DeSantis criticizes Haley's initial reaction to George Floyd's death, in which she said that his death should be "painful and personal" for everyone. This empathetic response to a graphic case of police brutality is somehow supposed to prove that Haley is too woke or too liberal to be president. Never mind that Haley has been extremely outspoken in her criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and the riots and violence that ensued. Never mind also that Ron DeSantis had an eerily similar response to the Floyd video.

"When I saw the video of that cop murdering George Floyd, I was just absolutely appalled by what I saw," DeSantis told a group of reporters at the time. "But I immediately asked folks at [the Florida Department of Law Enforcement] and others, 'How in the hell could you get away with even doing that tactic?' And sure enough, [in the] State of Florida, you do not put knee on a neck like that. That is not good training ... I think everyone agrees that's totally intolerable what happened."

The campaign trail is littered with the political corpses of candidates who failed to live up to their great expectations. Ron DeSantis will go down in the history books as a prime example. In his case, it wasn't a lack of resources or institutional support that felled him. It was his inauthenticity.

At the presidential level, where candidates are forced to talk to voters face to face — not once, but over and over — voters can sniff out a phony. DeSantis' disingenuous attacks on Nikki Haley are solid proof of this.

Jennifer Nassour is the former chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Daily Caller: DeSantis' Baseless Attacks On Haley Reveal His Desperation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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