The main super PAC supporting former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley‘s presidential run is planning to run a new advertisement Wednesday during Fox News host Sean Hannity’s time slot calling Donald Trump “chicken” for not debating his last remaining major 2024 GOP rival.
The ad, first reported by CBS News, features a video of a chicken alongside messages needling Trump over his debate avoidance as he runs for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“Too old and unfit?” the ad reads. “Or just unhinged and afraid? We don’t know.”
The spot continues, “But one thing we do know. Donald Trump is chicken.”
Trump has declined to participate in any of the GOP presidential debates this cycle and had a landslide win in the Iowa caucuses beforein a one-on-one contest in the New Hampshire Republican primary. Haley also suffered an to the “none of these candidates” option in the Nevada presidential primary earlier this week. Trump was not on the primary ballot in Nevada, opting to compete in the state party-sanctioned caucuses on Feb. 8.
Trump spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in an email, “Why would President Trump waste his time debating a candidate who was crushed by 30 points in Iowa, defeated by double digits in New Hampshire, literally lost to ‘nobody’ in Nevada, and has zero pathway to victory?” She added that Trump “will debate his real opponent, Joe Biden, any day of the week.”
Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during part of Trump’s White House tenure, is facing the potential of losing her home state of South Carolina to the former president in the state’s Feb. 24 GOP primary. She is the last major Republican challenger running against Trump, with a string of other candidates dropping their longshot bids over the last few months.
Trump is heading into South Carolina with strong momentum however and the backing of many of the state’s most well-known GOP figures.
The former president has scorned Haley, calling her “birdbrain” during a speech last month in Nevada, joking that he didn’t know she was still campaigning and charging that she is “completely unelectable.”
The advertisement from the pro-Haley super PAC known as Stand For America Fund appears to be focused on getting Trump’s attention, given his well-documented fondness for watching cable news and close relationship with Hannity.
“Is Trump afraid of pulling a Joe Biden on stage and confusing Nikki Haley for Nancy Pelosi again or is he more concerned that he won’t be able to explain why he failed to secure the border during his first term as president?” SFA Fund spokesperson Preya Samsundar said in a statement. “Whatever his reasoning, voters will be left with one thought about Donald Trump’s refusal to debate: he’s chicken.”
Olivia Rinaldi contributed to this report.
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