Nikki Haley is the next Republican candidate to get the CNN town hall treatment

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

CNN is hosting its second town hall with a Republican primary candidate on June 4 in Iowa. The candidate is Nikki Haley and the host is Jake Tapper. The venue has not been announced yet. Will the haters continue to hate that CNN is showcasing Republican candidates or was that just a Trump thing?


I’ll admit I don’t understand Haley’s campaign plan. I’ve seen her do interviews on Fox a few times but mostly she seems to be out of sight. I read that she is in Iowa or New Hampshire, as she should be since they are the earliest of states to vote in the Republican primary, but she doesn’t really seem to be creating a stir anywhere. I guess I expected more from her. The only time I see anything is when she criticizes Ron DeSantis, as she did when it was announced he would officially enter the race on Wednesday. Then, she criticized DeSantis as “Trump-lite”, which was an odd criticism. Is she worried that DeSantis is stealing her thunder, if she has any, in the primary?

The latest polls show that Haley is still in low single digits. As a poll released today by CNN shows, Trump is up over everyone else by 27 points. Trump is at 53%, DeSantis at 26% and Haley is at 6%, tied with Mike Pence.

The latest poll released by Quinnipiac today is even better for Trump. He is up 31 points. Trump is at 56%, DeSantis at 25%, and Haley is at 3%.

It seems like Haley should have made better progress while DeSantis wasn’t in the primary, doesn’t it? Now I think she’ll be completely drowned out by the coming death match between Trump and DeSantis. The others will fall along the wayside as it stands right now.

Haley’s campaign put out a memo describing DeSantis as a lesser alternative to Trump – Trump without the charm. The memo said that DeSantis mimics Trump and included photos of the two side-by-side making similar gestures while speaking. She went with personal attacks, just like Trump does.


Haley’s campaign pointed out that DeSantis promoted his alliance with Trump in his 2018 campaign for governor, bolstering Trump’s claim that he shepherded DeSantis’ political rise.

The literature attacks DeSantis’ personality, a frequent Trump tactic, stating “the glaring difference between the two is DeSantis’ inability to interact directly with voters,” a reference to observations that DeSantis often appears stiff and impersonable in public.

Haley’s team also gives a nod to Trump’s 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, in taking a jab at DeSantis’ negotiating skills over Disney’s cancellation of a $1 billion development in Orlando: “He must’ve skipped that chapter,” the memo states.

She also went after Trump in the memo, mostly pairing him with DeSantis in their apparent lack of interest in continuing support of Ukraine against Putin’s aggression. DeSantis is often misinterpreted on this subject. He isn’t as aggressive as Trump is in ending support. Trump talks about it by framing the issue with saying he can end the war in 24 hours. That’s bravado, of course, which is what Trump is known for. Haley is more of a war hawk so it isn’t surprising that she criticizes them both on the topic.

Haley also dings both Trump and DeSantis on a national ban on abortion. She says it is unrealistic while both Trump and DeSantis have avoided talking about that. Haley is right on this one.

The DeSantis-supporting super PAC, Never Back Down, responded to Haley’s attack over Disney


The pro-DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, hit back at Haley after she criticized DeSantis’ war with Disney last month by airing an advertisement of Disney officials touting the company’s use of LGBTQIA characters, paired with a clip of Haley saying she would welcome the company to South Carolina. “Mickey Haley!” the super PAC tweeted. Never Back Down also suggested Haley is “trying really hard” to be Trump’s vice presidential pick.

We’ll see how well she does with Jake Tapper. The left hated the town hall with Trump, but he did really well up against Kaitlan Collins. She was auditioning for her own primetime show, which she has gotten, so she should send Trump a thank you note. One thing is certain, CNN got big ratings with Trump and the network knew it would. I’ll be curious to see if ratings are good for other candidates like Haley. I know they would be good with DeSantis, if that comes about. Will the lesser candidates get the same kind of ratings? That is the question.

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