A super PAC supporting Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign unveiled an ad Friday in Iowa accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida of being a “lollipop” for former President Donald J. Trump.
THE announcement draws on old photos and videos to portray Mr. DeSantis as a Trump acolyte, abruptly switching between different sets of images. The first is a series of photos in which Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump appear friendly, underscored by the sound of a crowd chanting “Who’s your daddy?” »
The ad intercuts these photos with footage from an old campaign ad from Mr. DeSantis’s 2018 gubernatorial bid, 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 sucking,” concludes the ad, financed by SFA Fund Inc., Ms. Haley’s super PAC. The committee is spending $1.6 million to run the ad in Iowa.
Mr. Trump’s campaign also relied on footage from that 2018 ad. In a video shown at campaign events, he attacks Mr. DeSantis as being disloyal after Mr. Trump endorsed his bid for office of governor.
Ms. Haley and Mr. DeSantis — and their allies — have been trying for months to present themselves as the best alternative to Mr. Trump, the front-runner in the Republican primary. But while Ms. Haley appeals to more traditional Republicans, Mr. DeSantis has moved to her right, with tougher stances as he tries to chip away at Mr. Trump’s base.
Mr. DeSantis’ 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 that New Hampshire voters would “fix” the outcome of the Iowa caucuses.
THE DeSantis campaign ad accuses Ms. Haley of disparaging Iowans and their caucuses, suggesting that Mr. DeSantis is more aligned with the state’s values.
Nicolas Nehamas reports contributed.