The rift between former President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley appears to be widening, as Trump recently bestowed upon her the nickname “Birdbrain Nikki.” While Haley trails behind Trump by significant margins in the GOP Primary, she is steadily gaining ground on Republican frontrunner Ron DeSantis. The former South Carolina Governor is known for her association with the Bush warmonger camp and has enjoyed support from Fox News.
Taking to his new social media platform, TruthSocial, Trump declared, “MAGA, or I, will never go for Birdbrain Nikki Haley. No loyalty, plenty of lies! She said, ‘I will never run against our great President,’ and ‘he has done an outstanding job.’ How nice of you to say, Nikki,” Trump sarcastically remarked, dismissing Haley’s words as inconsequential. Trump also revealed that Haley had visited his Mar-a-Lago estate with her family, bearing gifts, seemingly attempting to maintain a positive relationship with the former president.
To further emphasize his distaste for Haley, Trump shared a video of her stating, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk with him about it.” However, Haley failed to follow through on either of these promises made in the video.
Trump’s criticism of Haley extends beyond simply giving her a derogatory nickname. He argued that she, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supports giving Ukraine financial aid at the expense of the American people. Trump referred to her as a crow, aligning her with McConnell, whom he also called an “old crow.” However, it should be noted that Ukraine policy has been a point of contention between Trump and Haley for some time, with Haley referring to Trump’s stance as “weak in the knees.”
Haley’s alignment with the Bush camp and her hawkish views on foreign policy have drawn criticism. If she had her way, the United States would have embarked on military interventions in Syria and potentially ignited another prolonged conflict in the Middle East. Trump’s use of the nickname “Birdbrain Nikki” could be seen as a reflection of his disapproval of her perspectives.
Interestingly, Trump’s targeting of Haley may hint at the possibility of a withdrawal from the race by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Reports suggest that DeSantis may face financial challenges within the next month, which could prompt neoconservatives to shift their support to Haley. This scenario could significantly alter the dynamics of the GOP Primary.
As the race heats up, the Iowa Caucus, scheduled for January 2024, will mark the official launch of the GOP Primary. Until then, it remains to be seen how the tensions between Trump, Haley, and DeSantis will continue to evolve and shape the Republican presidential race.