Pro-DeSantis Ad Blasts Haley For Prior Hillary Clinton Praise

As support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has dropped among GOP presidential primary voters, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has seen a modest boost in her poll numbers, putting the two candidates in a fight for second place — albeit far behind front-runner Donald Trump.

Fight Right, a new pro-DeSantis super PAC, appears to have acknowledged the threat that Haley poses to the governor’s White House bid and recently released an attack ad focused on her prior statements praising failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The ad hinged on comments Haley made regarding her motivation to run for public office.
“The reason I actually ran for office is because of Hillary Clinton,” she said in 2012. “Everybody was telling me why I shouldn’t run: I was too young, I had small children, I should start at the school board level.”

Upon hearing a speech Clinton delivered at Birmingham University, however, Haley said she was determined to launch a campaign of her own.

“She said that when it comes to women running for office, there will be everybody that tells you why you shouldn’t run, but that’s all the reasons why we need you to do it,” the former South Carolina governor said. “And I walked out of there thinking, ‘That’s it. I’m running for office.’”

Of course, the Haley campaign now claims that her words were taken out of context by the super PAC in order to score political points for her rival. In 2020, Haley similarly encouraged women to enter politics, and campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas cited that interview in denouncing the Fight Right ad.

“Nikki Haley credited Hillary Clinton with saying young women shouldn’t listen to critics who tell them not to run for office, but that’s where the praise ended,” Perez-Cubas said. “Haley has long said she doesn’t agree with Clinton on anything, and she’d be a disastrous president.”

A previous social media post by pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down also took aim at Haley’s previous remarks.

Others in the GOP primary, including Trump, have rehashed Haley’s praise for Clinton. Following a debate in September, the Trump campaign quoted Haley’s 2012 remarks as part of a statement called “The Real Nikki Haley.”