Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump are lastly each within the presidential race and sparring every day over their information, management fashion, and identify pronunciation. However as the 2 heavyweights look to distinguish one another, Nikki Haley is attempting to persuade GOP voters they’re one and the identical.
The previous South Carolina governor is attempting to carve out a lane by arguing that — each on coverage and elegance — DeSantis isn’t a large enough leap from Trump for Republicans disinclined handy the previous president a 3rd nomination.
One prime instance? DeSantis’ ongoing authorized and political battle with Disney over the corporate’s criticism of a legislation proscribing classroom dialogue of gender id and sexual orientation.
Throughout her CNN city corridor on Sunday, Haley appeared to hyperlink it to Trump’s feuds, arguing the corporate had taken liberal stances up to now on points like immigration, however that DeSantis solely turned on them when criticized personally.
“It’s similar to all this vendetta stuff,” Haley mentioned. “We’ve been down that street.” (DeSantis hit back on Monday afternoon throughout a Fox Information look.)
Haley’s workforce has been laying the groundwork for this concept — binding the highest two candidates collectively as one in an effort to greatest DeSantis as the principle non-Trump various — for weeks now. On the identical city corridor, she slammed each candidates over their unwillingness to obviously say whether or not they need Ukraine to beat out Russia.
“For them to take a seat there and say that it is a territorial dispute, that’s simply not the case — or to say that we should always keep impartial,” Haley mentioned. “It’s in the very best curiosity of our nationwide safety for Ukraine to win.”
Simply days earlier than DeSantis’ marketing campaign launch, Haley’s workforce additionally despatched out a memo to “ events” that argued towards DeSantis’ pitch because the extra grown-up “credible various” to Trump. “Not ‘Trump With out the Drama.’ Simply ‘Mini-Trump,’” Haley’s workforce declared, pointing to current leaks of inner debate prep footage from DeSantis’ 2018 race, in addition to a Florida congressional lawmaker noting that he declined to endorse DeSantis partly as a result of he couldn’t get a name again.