GOFFSTOWN, N.H. – EXCLUSIVE – Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley argues that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “an echo” for former President Donald Trump and that DeSantis, who’s expected in hours to join Haley and Trump in the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, “needs to get out there and say what he believes.”
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Haley, the former two-term South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, made her case against DeSantis while campaigning in New Hampshire, a crucial state in the Republican primary.
DeSantis is set to officially declare his candidacy for president on Twitter during a conversation with Elon Musk at 6 p.m. ET. He will also file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, marking the official start of his campaign. His first national TV interview following the announcement will be with Fox News’ Trey Gowdy on “Fox News Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET.
Haley, the first major Republican to challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination, criticized DeSantis for copying Trump’s style instead of being his own person. She emphasized the need for DeSantis to express his own beliefs and ideas, rather than echoing Trump’s rhetoric. Haley firmly believes that voters want to see authenticity and individuality in their candidates.
Responding to concerns that her criticism of DeSantis may benefit Trump, Haley explained, “It’s a primary. In a primary, you show differences between people.” She highlighted her own accomplishments as a two-term governor who turned around a state with double-digit unemployment and her experience in handling international affairs during her tenure at the United Nations.
Haley urged DeSantis to focus on showcasing his own strengths and contributions to the table. She believes that voters want to see candidates who are unique and not mere echoes of previous leaders. Haley’s comments come after her campaign released a memo portraying DeSantis as a lesser alternative to Trump and highlighting his past imitations of the former president.
At just 44 years old, DeSantis has made a name for himself in Republican politics, particularly for his bold response to COVID-19 restrictions and his unwavering conservative stance on key issues. He has become a formidable figure among conservatives nationwide, securing significant policy victories in Florida. However, Trump and his allies have increasingly targeted DeSantis, recognizing him as a major threat in the 2024 nomination race.
Haley also took a veiled jab at Trump during her appearance in New Hampshire, emphasizing the need for a new generational leader and leaving behind the baggage and negativity of the past. Her comments reflect a desire for a fresh approach to leadership and a departure from the ongoing disputes over the 2020 election.
As Haley campaigns in New Hampshire, she faces the entry of Republican Sen. Tim Scott into the presidential race. However, she remains confident, stating that Scott’s candidacy does not complicate her path to the nomination but rather welcomes him to the party.
The clash between Republican powerhouses Haley and DeSantis highlights the divergent paths they believe the party should take. It will be an intense battle for the nomination, as each candidate strives to demonstrate their unique qualities and vision for the future of the Republican Party.
Stay tuned for more updates on the fierce competition for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination!
Source Fox News