Photo of Nikki Haley

Haley Campaign Press Release - New Hampshire Union Leader Debunks Trump's Lies on Haley

December 19, 2023

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The New Hampshire Union Leader is the latest outlet to fact check Donald Trump's lame attacks on Nikki Haley's tax record. Previous fact checks can be found here, here, here, here, and here. The Union Leader also points out that Donald Trump endorsed a 25-cent per gallon gas tax increase in 2018.

Why all the lies and attacks? Haley is surging, and Trump is scared.

By: Kevin Landrigan
Online Here

The Super PAC backing former President Donald Trump attacked Republican rival Nikki Haley for changing her view and supporting a state gasoline tax increase while she was governor in 2015.

Haley's campaign insisted the ad was false, that she didn't back a "standalone" gas tax hike but proposed one, coupled with a state income tax reduction, that would have cut total taxes.

The South Carolina Legislature never acted on that plan.

"Two days ago, Donald Trump denied our surge in New Hampshire existed," Haley responded on X. "Now, he's running a negative ad against me. Someone's getting nervous."

The Make America Great Again Inc.'s commercial was its first in New Hampshire since June, and followed multiple polls showing Haley pulling away from the rest of the GOP field in second place here, though she was still well behind Trump.

"MAGA Inc. remains committed to exposing the career politicians who are undeserving of the Republican nomination," said Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the group.

"Nikki Haley has lied to increase taxes, she has lied to get in the race, and she will try to lie to win it. We won't let another tax-and-spend politician try to fool the voters."

Within hours Tuesday, Haley's own Super PAC, Stand for America, released a seven-figure ad which responds to the attack and will air on New Hampshire TV stations.

"Of all the Republicans running for president, why is Donald Trump only attacking Nikki Haley? Because Trump knows Haley's the only one who can beat him," the narrator begins in the 30-second ad.

The spot closes with Sununu and Haley waving at supporters during the pair's three-day endorsement tour of the state last week.

Trump and Haley are not expected to campaign in the state before Christmas.

They each are campaigning this week in Iowa, the state holding the first caucus on Jan. 15, eight days before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

The Trump-backed Super PAC bought its ad to air on the CBS-TV affiliate in Boston that broadcasts through much of the state; a national CBS News poll last weekend had Haley coming within 15% of Trump in the Granite State, 44% to 29%.

Last September, Haley said if elected that she would eliminate the federal gas tax, which is 18 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24 cents for diesel.

"And we don't need a federal gas tax to fund our roads," Haley said during that speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester.

"We'll keep building our roads with the trillions Washington still has, and we'll stop diverting money to green giveaways. Road money should build roads, not bike paths and hiking trails."

Haley campaign: Trump toyed with fed gas tax hike in 2018

The pro-Trump ad begins with a promise Haley made during a speech in 2013.

"I will not, not now, not ever, support raising the gas tax," Haley said.

The narrator then states, "Twenty four months later Haley flipped. 'Let's increase the gas tax 10 cents,''' Haley said in an address to the Legislature in January 2015.

"That's right, high-tax Haley broke her promise ... New Hampshire can't afford Nikki high tax Haley," the pro-Trump ad concludes.

In 2013, Haley did shoot down a standalone gas tax hike, pushed by legislative leaders and industry groups.

Then in early 2015, she called for raising the gas tax by 10 cents over three years, coupled with a plan to cut the top income tax bracket from 7% to 5% over a decade.

The Legislature balked at that tradeoff, and the 16-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax remained in place until she left as governor in January 2017 to become Trump's ambassador to the United Nations.

Then four months later, the South Carolina Legislature passed an infrastructure improvement plan that raised its state gasoline tax in two-cents-a-gallon annual increments through mid-2022.

The 75% tax hike became law after lawmakers overrode Republican Gov. Henry McMaster's veto of the measure.

The Haley campaign pointed out that in 2018 Trump told congressional leaders that he was open to raising the federal gas tax by as much as 25 cents a gallon to support an infrastructure package.

After conservatives reacted strongly against the plan, Trump dropped the idea and never pursued it before Congress.

Leavitt responded that as a South Carolina lawmaker Haley voted for a sales tax increase in 2006. The law included a 100% homeowner, property tax exemption and had cut the sales tax on unprepared foods.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - New Hampshire Union Leader Debunks Trump's Lies on Haley Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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