February 24, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump turned on 2024 GOP rival Nikki Haley late Tuesday and early Wednesday, with less than a week to go before what many observers see as a must-win New Hampshire primary for the former South Carolina governor.

“Anyone listening to Nikki ‘Nimrada’ [sic] Haley’s wacked-out speech last night, would think that she won the Iowa Primary. She didn’t,’” Trump posted on Truth Social. “Nikki came in a distant THIRD!”

Haley’s full name is Nimarata Nikki Haley — and her critics have often used her given first name to draw unflattering attention to her Indian heritage.

“She said she would never run against me, ‘he was a great President,’ and she should have followed her own advice. Now she’s stuck with WEAK POLICIES, and a VERY STRONG MAGA BASE, and there’s just nothing she can do!” Trump went on.

Haley’s team quickly shrugged off the tirade against her as desperation on the part of the 77-year-old.

Nikki Haley finished in third place in Iowa and is hoping to draw political blood from Donald Trump in New Hampshire. Getty Images
Nikki Haley previously served in Donald Trump’s administration. REUTERS

“Donald Trump is attacking Nikki for one reason: She’s got the momentum and he’s scared,” campaign spokesperson AnnMarie Graham-Barnes told The Post.

“This is a two-person race between Nikki and Trump. Voters have a choice: the chaos, drama, and personal grievances of the past, or a new generation of conservative leadership.”

Trump also reposted clips from his Tuesday night speech in Atkinson, NH, in which he warned, “Haley is counting on the Democrats and liberals to infiltrate your Republican Party.”

The former president likened Nikki Haley to Hillary Clinton. realDonaldTrump/TruthSocial

In another clip he shared, the 45th president chided that Haley was backed by “RINOs, globalists, and demented never-Trumpers.”

Trump later shared an image blending the likeness of Haley and his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, with a campaign logo that incorporated the former first lady’s “arrow H” from her unsuccessful presidential run.

Trump also dinged Haley for supporting entitlement reform, which he described as “cuts to Social Security benefits,” and needled her over her past support for raising the gas tax while South Carolina governor.

Haley had indicated back in 2015 that she would back an increase in the gas tax so long as it was paired with a reduction in the state income tax.

“Haley is the establishment candidate who is loved by Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney,” read yet another meme shared by Trump.

For weeks, Trump’s top allies have grappled with speculation that the former president could tap Haley as his running mate — a possibility neither individual has ruled out entirely.

As Trump revs up his attacks on Haley, the former ambassador is doing the same against him.

“I’m going after Trump. That’s what I’m saying. I’m doing that, not for personal reasons, but the fact is that I don’t want my kids to live like this. At some point, something’s got to give,” Haley told CNN Tuesday.

One of Trump’s attacks said the 2012 Republican presidential ticket loves Nikki Haley. realDonaldTrump/TrutuhSocial

“People are tired of the division and the chaos. We can’t go through four more years of chaos. We won’t survive it.”

She also likened Trump to President Biden.

“Both of them are exactly the same: They’re both in their 80s; they both put us trillions of dollars in debt; they both are dealing with investigations that are distractions; they both constantly are showing us they have no vision going forward,” Haley said.

Donald Trump unleashed on Nikki Haley via Truth Social. JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Trump would be 82 upon leaving office if he is elected and serves a full four-year term. Biden is 81.

With six days to go before the New Hampshire primary, a new Suffolk University/NBC10 Boston/Boston Globe poll pegged Trump with 50% support among likely Republican voters, followed by Haley at 34% and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 5%.

The poll, which sampled 500 respondents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, is the first major New Hampshire survey to emerge following Trump’s blowout win in the Iowa caucuses and the withdrawals of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy from the race.