Trump and Haley Prepare to Go to Blows

( – Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley might have come third in the Iowa caucus, but she’s still emerging as the main challenge to Donald Trump in the race for this year’s Republican presidential nomination. Up to now, Trump has been uncharacteristically diplomatic about his opponents. As candidates drop out and the battle lines are drawn for the final showdown, that’s likely to change.

On January 15, Trump won a solid victory in the Iowa caucus, taking 51% of the vote. While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came second, Haley wasn’t far behind him — and she’s steadily building support while DeSantis’s campaign started off underwhelming and now seems to have run out of steam. Right now it looks likely the last two candidates will be Trump and Haley.

After his Iowa victory, Trump said DeSantis and Haley “both actually did very well.” He isn’t known for praising his political opponents, but Monday’s speech was a smart move from the point of view of GOP unity. However, Trump is a tough political operator, and his team has already confirmed that as Haley emerges as his most serious challenger, he’ll turn up the heat on her. Up to now he’s directed most of his fire at DeSantis, but unless the governor can get his campaign back on track, that will soon become pointless.

Trump has already criticized the former ambassador and South Carolina governor. On the day of the Iowa caucus, he called her a “globalist RINO.” However, as the election gets closer, we can expect attack ads focusing on where Trump thinks Haley’s policy platform is most vulnerable.

His staff has already hinted at where the attacks will be aimed; a campaign spokeswoman has claimed Haley would “put China first and America last.” Meanwhile, Haley’s campaign spokeswoman says she’s expecting attacks from Trump and is already prepared to deal with them. She’s also started working to put pressure on Trump, portraying him as an erratic man bent on revenge. It’s likely worse will come as the campaign intensifies.

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