Republican Ohio Sen. JD Vance argued 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley would likely be unable to survive Democratic attacks if elected the party’s nominee, saying she’s “the candidate that Democrats haven’t teed off on.”
“Nikki does have baggage. She just hasn’t faced the onslaught of years of media attacks, of super PAC attacks that Donald Trump has faced. And frankly, the fact that Trump is still standing and still leading in the polls against Joe Biden suggests he has real political resilience,” Vance told Fox News’ Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.”
Bream aired a clip of her asking New Hampshire voters who they supported ahead of the Granite State’s primary on Tuesday, with one woman explaining she’s voting for Haley because she has “no baggage.” Vance, who is serving as a surrogate for the Trump campaign, pushed back that Haley does have “baggage,” but Democrats have not attacked her, as they have Trump, in recent years.
“I know a lot of people who are choosing Nikki Haley think she’s the low baggage candidate. In reality, she’s the candidate that Democrats haven’t teed off on, but they will tee off on her if she’s the nominee,” Vance said, adding that Haley “won’t be” the nominee.
“But if she is [the nominee], she will face exactly what Donald Trump has faced for the past six years, and I don’t think she’ll survive, and I certainly don’t think she’ll win the presidency through it. That’s why we need to elect the guy who’s shown some resilience. That’s why we need to nominate Donald Trump,” he said.
Trump solidified himself as the Republican frontrunner for 2024 last week, when he handily won the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. He is now focusing on the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.
While some polls, such as one published by American Research Group Inc., showed Haley and Trump tied for support, others have shown Trump with a stronger advantage over the former South Carolina governor.
Trump has 55% support among those likely to vote in the primary, compared to Haley’s 36% support and DeSantis’ 6% support, a Suffolk University, the Boston Globe and NBC10 poll found.
Bream cited the Suffolk poll, as well as a CNN poll that found Trump has 50% support to Haley’s 39%, and noted to Vance that many voters in New Hampshire are undeclared, but vote in the GOP primary.
“There are a couple of newspaper editorials today endorsing Nikki Haley, telling people if you’re independent get out, ‘save the country and vote in that GOP primary.’ I mean, that’s a substantial group of people here. How concerned are you about them showing up and not choosing President Trump on Tuesday?” Bream asked.
Vance responded that liberals who recently moved out of Massachusetts to New Hampshire would “never” vote for a Republican nominee – whether they be Trump or Haley – and are instead “trying to play spoiler to Donald Trump” and his primary race.
“I think a lot of them are going to vote for Donald Trump and also liberal… many of them from Massachusetts who are moving to New Hampshire, they’re never going to vote for a Republican nominee, even if it’s Nikki Haley,” Vance said.
“They’re just trying to play spoiler to Donald Trump. But I think Republicans really have to ask ourselves, do we want liberal suburbanites from Massachusetts to choose our nominee? Or do we want to choose our nominee as Republicans and independent-minded conservatives? I think if we choose our nominee, Donald Trump is going to win, and he’s going to win handily,” Vance added.
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