Haley Begins Airing a New Ad Tying DeSantis to Trump

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A super PAC supporting Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign on Friday unveiled an advertisement in Iowa that accuses Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida of being a “suck up” to former President Donald J. Trump.

The ad draws on old photos and videos to portray Mr. DeSantis as a Trump acolyte, by flipping abruptly among different sets of images. The first is a set of photos in which Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump appear friendly, underscored by audio of a crowd chanting “Who’s your daddy?”

The ad intersperses those photos with footage from an old campaign ad from Mr. DeSantis’s 2018 run for governor in which he recites some of Mr. Trump’s campaign slogans to his children. In that ad, Mr. DeSantis used a “Make America Great Again” sign to teach one child to read, and taught another child to “build the wall” using toy blocks.

“America needs strength — not a suck up,” the advertisement, paid for by SFA Fund Inc., Ms. Haley’s super PAC, closes. The committee is spending $1.6 million to run the ad in Iowa.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has also drawn on footage from that 2018 advertisement. In a video it airs at campaign events, it attacks Mr. DeSantis as disloyal after Mr. Trump backed Mr. DeSantis’s run for governor.

Both Ms. Haley and Mr. DeSantis — and their allies — for months have been trying to present themselves as the best alternative to Mr. Trump, the front-runner in the Republican primary. But while Ms. Haley is appealing to more mainstream Republicans, Mr. DeSantis has been staking out a position to her right, with more hard-line positions as he tries to chip away at Mr. Trump’s base.

Mr. DeSantis’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But on Monday, it began airing its “closing ad” attacking Ms. Haley over comments she made saying that voters in New Hampshire would “correct” the result of the Iowa caucuses.

The DeSantis campaign’s ad accuses Ms. Haley of disparaging Iowans and their caucuses, suggesting Mr. DeSantis is more aligned with the state’s values.

Nicholas Nehamas contributed reporting.

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