Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is running for President against former President Donald Trump, but the fact that they’re competing for the same job has been largely obscured by the truism that no GOP candidate — except the cellar-dwelling Chris Christie — has been willing to take any significant political aim at Trump, whose lead in the Republican primary polls is enormous.
Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the other ostensible contender for the nomination, have come around very slowly to criticizing Trump, with the political price for turning off Trump’s loyal base being way too high for either candidate to pay. (It’s also the case that since Trump has refused to participate in any of the RNC debates, they’ve never had to confront him directly.)
But at some point, to climb to the top you’ve got to look up — and Haley admitted in this week’s CNN town hall that the man she sees on top of the GOP hill is too much “in his feelings” and “his own worst enemy” for being so, she said. “We don’t need someone who’s getting personal about anything,” Haley said.
[NOTE: a visit to Trump’s TruthSocial account will show a man who is surely “getting personal.” His post about DeSantis today begins: “Ron DeSanctimonious has one minor flaw against the Democrats — He has ZERO personality. If I didn’t endorse him, he would have finished, during the Primary, at 3%. NO LOYALTY! Bobblehead is now in third place.”]
Another thing Haley says is wrong with Trump is his affection for dictators. “How he deals with dictators,” Haley says, stepping gently, is “completely wrong. He praised China’s President Xi a dozen times after China gave us COVID. He congratulated them on the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party. We don’t do that.”
Nikki Haley swipes Trump for being too emotional:— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) January 5, 2024
“He’s his own worst enemy … We don’t need someone who’s getting in their feelings.” pic.twitter.com/PQhYDWwCSx
Citing another example of Trump attacking Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu when “Israel fell to her knees,” Haley says that unlike with Trump’s modus operandi, we “need to do this without emotion. We need to do this with a sane sense of how we’re going to take America forward.”
Haley’s implication in the last sentence is, of course, that her chief opponent, Trump, is not employing a “sane sense” but instead its opposite. It’s something others have said but it’s a first for Haley.