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Haley Campaign Press Release - Fact Check: Trump Ad Debunked Multiple Times

December 19, 2023

CHARLESTON, S.C. – As Haley surges, the "fellas" are shaking in their boots. Now, Donald Trump is recycling Ron DeSantis' debunked lies about Nikki Haley's tax record. Fact checkers have said the attack is misleading and false.

Let's review:

PolitiFact: A MAGA Inc. ad in New Hampshire states that Nikki Haley "flipped" on the gas tax and calls her "high tax Haley." We fact-checked a similar ad's statement that Haley "raised taxes" and rated it Mostly False.

The Washington Post: While the ad targets a major concern for conservative voters, tax increases, it's based on a misleading claim that's been frequently used by GOP campaigns this cycle — that Haley as governor of South Carolina supported a gas-tax hike.

Haley opposed a stand-alone gas tax increase as governor. In 2015, she proposed raising the gas tax only if the state reduced income tax rates from 7 percent to 5 percent. The plan, her campaign pointed out on Tuesday, died in the state legislature and gas taxes were not increased during her time in office.

Forbes: Nikki Haley did not propose a standalone gas tax hike during any of her six years in the South Carolina governor's mansion. It was Republican state lawmakers at the time who first proposed and drove the push for a gas tax increase.

In response to the effort to raise South Carolina's gas tax, then-Governor Haley countered by telling state legislators she would only consider a gas tax increase if it were tied to an income tax cut of greater size. Underscoring how misleading it is to brand Haley as a tax hiker is a 2015 letter sent from Americans For Tax Reform president Grover Norquist to South Carolina legislators, urging them to support then-Governor Haley's proposed income tax cut, noting that its benefits would outweigh the costs of any gas tax hike tied to it.

The Hill: The ad, released Tuesday, slams Haley for appearing to go back on a 2013 South Carolina gubernatorial campaign promise to not raise the gas tax. Her campaign denied that she ever supported raising the South Carolina gas tax while governor.

PolitiFact labeled the gas tax claims "mostly false." Haley did advocate for raising the gas tax in 2015, but only alongside a cut in the income tax. Her proposal did not pass.

New York Times: The Fight Right ad also cites an article by Fox Business in the fall about Ms. Haley and South Carolina's gas tax — the subject of misleading claims by another pro-DeSantis super PAC. Ms. Haley did not increase the gas tax as governor. She resisted calls to raise the gas tax as a stand-alone measure, but proposed raising the tax only if the state also reduced the income tax rate to 5 percent, from 7 percent, and made changes to the state's Transportation Department

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Fact Check: Trump Ad Debunked Multiple Times Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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