Nikki Haley slams Rep. Massie and DeSantis’s campaigning

Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina | Credits: AP
Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina | Credits: AP

United States: Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, has criticized Republican rival Ron DeSantis for visiting Iowa to campaign with Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie, the only House Republican to vote against a GOP resolution last week condemning anti-Semitism on college campuses.

According to the Associated Press, Haley stated, “You can’t be pro-Israel and bring the most anti-Israel Republican into this state, who voted against fighting anti-semitism on college campuses,” and she added, “And that’s who he brought to your state.”

At the conclusion of a campaign event at a bar and grill in a Des Moines suburb, Haley criticized DeSantis for running with Massie on Saturday. This highlighted the growing pressure on the two to emerge from Iowa as the superior candidate to the outgoing president, Donald Trump.

Ron DeSantis | Credits: AP Photo

Iowa Campaign Dynamics Heat Up

During a campaign rally last week, Trump stated that the party’s early 2024 election fervor will be boosted by the Iowa blowout. Trump told his Coralville audience, “The margin of victory is very important; it’s just very important.”

In the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses, advertising supporting both DeSantis and Haley have tried to impede the other’s rise in the state by publicly sparring, just as they did in debates.

According to AP, DeSantis and Massie co-hosted a town hall-style session in Johnston, Iowa, a northern suburb of Des Moines, with the goal of addressing gun rights policy.

Massie has opposed similar GOP-sponsored resolutions since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict, accusing anti-Semitism laws of restricting the right to free speech.

Rep. Thomas Massie | Credits: Getty

The majority of Republicans place a high priority on supporting Israel, especially evangelical Christians, who make up a sizable portion of the Iowa GOP and many of whom consider Jews to be God’s chosen people and Israel to be their legitimate state.

DeSantis has urged US assistance for Israel, emphasizing his efforts from Florida to bring medical supplies to the country and evacuate hundreds of Americans from Israel following the Hamas attack on October 7. DeSantis has also argued in favor of destroying Hamas. His campaign downplayed the negative remarks made about working with Massie.

Bryan Griffin, the press secretary for Ron DeSantis’ campaign, stated, “Ron DeSantis has been the clearest, most consistent pro-Israel candidate in the race.” He went on, “He has unquestionably supported Israel in eradicating Hamas.”

Haley’s Firm Position Regarding Israel and Hamas

According to the AP article, Haley is urging Israel to “finish them,” a reference to Hamas, the terrorist group in charge of the October 7 attack.