Monday, May 20, 2024

The super PAC aligned with former President Donald J. Trump is putting money for the first time behind television ads attacking Nikki Haley, his former U.N. ambassador, who has gained momentum in the Republican primary.

Make America Great Again, Inc., is set to air an ad in New Hampshire on Tuesday that targets Ms. Haley, according to a filing with a television network. The ad is expected to run from Tuesday until Sunday, the filing indicated.

Ms. Haley pre-emptively responded on Monday night to the ad, writing on the social media platform X, “Two days ago, Donald Trump denied our surge in New Hampshire existed. Now, he’s running a negative ad against me. Someone’s getting nervous. #BringIt.”

Ms. Haley has ascended to second place in New Hampshire, according to a recent CBS News poll. Mr. Trump and his affiliated super PAC had previously put resources into bashing Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has slipped in the polls and is now battling Ms. Haley for second place in the early primary states.

For much of his campaign, Mr. DeSantis was the only candidate Mr. Trump treated as a serious threat. While Mr. Trump sometimes mocked Ms. Haley and called her names, he more often criticized Mr. DeSantis by name at rallies, and Mr. Trump’s allies have waged a persistent online campaign against Mr. DeSantis. Mr. Trump’s super PAC last funded an ad buy against Mr. DeSantis in October accusing him of supporting statehood for Puerto Rico.

But as Mr. DeSantis has amped up his attacks against Mr. Trump, the former president has turned his attention elsewhere.

Chris Jankowski, the former chief executive of Never Back Down, the super PAC backing Mr. DeSantis, said this past summer that such a shift in Mr. Trump’s attention would be worrisome.

“What would concern me is if I woke up one day, and Trump and his team were not attacking Never Back Down and Ron DeSantis,” Mr. Jankowski told The New York Times in July. “That would be concerning. Other than that, we’ve got them right where we want them.”

He resigned from the embattled super PAC last month, among a string of resignations and firings that has roiled the group, the latest being the resignation of Jeff Roe, a chief strategist, on Saturday night. On Monday, a campaign watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing the super PAC of effectively serving as Mr. DeSantis’s campaign.

In recent weeks, Ms. Haley has been endorsed by Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s popular Republican governor, and has made gains in the state — though she still trails Mr. Trump by double digits. Her rise has been fueled by a lean campaign operation and strong debate performances that positioned her as a more moderate Republican candidate than some of her counterparts.

Ms. Haley has spent little resources attacking her former boss. At a crowded town hall on Monday in Iowa, where Ms. Haley and Mr. DeSantis are locked in a heated race for second place, she instead highlighted that Mr. Trump was set to attack her.

“So stay tuned,” she said. “We’ll have fun with that one.”

Maggie Haberman and Jazmine Ulloa contributed reporting.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles