Nikki Haley, a GOP presidential primary contender, criticized former President Donald Trump for his comments about her deployed husband.
What Happened: The Republican presidential candidate on Monday voiced her disapproval of Trump’s recent comments about her husband, a deployed military officer. She expressed her lack of trust in Trump’s ability to protect the military, reported NBC News.
“He showed that with that kind of disrespect for the military, he's not qualified to be the president of the United States, because I don't trust him to protect them,” Haley said.
Trump’s comments were made during a rally on Saturday, where he questioned the whereabouts of Haley’s husband. This is not the first time Trump has made controversial remarks about the Haleys’ marriage.
"Then she comes over to see me at Mar-a-Lago. ‘Sir, I will never run against you.' She brought her husband,” Trump said.
“Where's your husband? Oh, he's away. He's away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He's gone! He knew. He knew.”
Michael Haley, an officer commissioned in the South Carolina Army National Guard, commenced a yearlong deployment in June — a detail Nikki often highlights during her campaign events.
Haley has also questioned Trump’s previous comments about military members. She pointed out that Trump has never had to face the challenges that military personnel endure. “He's never had to fight for survival like so many of them sacrifice to go do,” she said.
“The most harm he's ever come across is whether a golf ball hits him on a golf cart.”
Why It Matters: Haley’s recent criticism of Trump is a significant shift from her previous stance. In 2020, she praised Trump’s record towards the military and defended him against allegations of calling military members “losers” and “suckers.”
Haley has been ramping up her rhetoric against the former president ahead of the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary, with early voting in the contest already underway. Despite her criticism, Trump still holds a significant lead in the race for the GOP nomination for the 2024 presidential election, with Haley being his main contender. According to Real Clear Politics, at the national level, Trump held 74.3% support among GOP voters, while Nikki Haley trailed with 18.1% support.
Earlier, Haley had also taken a jab at Trump with a Halloween costume that poked fun at his potential re-election chances. She labeled the costume as the “Weakest General Election Candidate Ever,” listing “accessories” such as “$50M in legal fees,” “terrible poll numbers,” “social media rants,” and “temper tantrums.”‘
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