(Headline USA) Former President Donald Trump went after fellow GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley this week, tying her to his 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
In an email titled “The Real Nikki Haley,” Trump reminded his supporters that Haley once praised Clinton as an “inspiration.”
“The reason I actually ran for office is because of Hillary Clinton,” Haley said in the 2012 New York Times piece.
Trump has used variations of the email several times, dating back since at least February of this year, but sent an expanded version that highlighted some of his former United Nations ambassador’s remarks from the Wednesday night debate.
The email also attacked Haley as “weak on immigration,” and pointed to her aggressive support for continued U.S. funding in the Ukraine conflict.
“Instead of Finding a Peaceful Solution to the Ukraine–Russia War, Haley Has Supported Sending More American Fighter Planes to Fuel the War,” the email said.
Haley’s campaign wrote off Trump’s rebuke, saying, “I guess Donald Trump feels threatened by Nikki Haley,” her press secretary, Ken Farnaso, told CBS News.
Haley has made foreign policy a central component of her campaign, arguing that Trump no longer has the right instincts.
“[Trump] used to be good on foreign policy, and now he has started to walk it back and get weak in the knees when it comes to Ukraine,” Haley said at a Portsmouth Rotary Club meeting in New Hampshire last week.
She reiterated this point during the second GOP debate on Wednesday, arguing Trump’s singular focus on the U.S.–China trade relationship betrayed his inexperience on the world stage.
“This is where President Trump went wrong,” Haley said Wednesday evening in Simi Valley. “He focused on trade with China. He didn’t focus on the fact that they were buying up our farmland. He didn’t focus on the fact that they were killing Americans.”
It is unclear in what context Haley was referring to with the latter accusation; however, Trump regularly criticized China’s culpability for “killing Americans” with the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when few others were willing to publicly cast blame on the Asian superpower.
Several recent polls have found Haley surging among Republican primary voters in South Carolina and New Hampshire, as well as among independents across the country. One poll even found her beating President Joe Biden in a hypothetical general election match-up.
The same poll found Trump beating Biden by a whopping 10 points.
Trump, who remains the frontrunner in the GOP primary by a margin of more than 50 points, opted to skip Wednesday night’s Fox-News-hosted debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, instead holding a rally in Michigan with members of the striking United Auto Workers union.
Many declared him the winner of the lackluster debate for his decision not to attend.