(NEW YORK) — Republican candidate Nikki Haley on Monday released a new digital ad attack against rival and former President Donald Trump, reviving his past comments mocking military veterans.
The digital spot, shared exclusively with ABC News, is part of a $4 million ad buy from Haley’s campaign and highlights comments made by the former president about the late Republican Sen. John McCain — a Navy veteran who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam — that Trump made during a 2015 CBS News interview in which he said McCain was was “not a war hero” and that he likes “people who weren’t captured.”
The ad also notes allegations from Trump’s former chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who said that the former president privately called deceased American World War veterans “losers” and “suckers” when he didn’t want to visit a cemetery near Paris in the rain, something Trump has vigorously denied.
Haley’s attacks come in the wake of another set of disparaging comments Trump made over the weekend about her husband, Maj. Michael Haley, who is currently deployed to Africa with the South Carolina Army National Guard.
“Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband?” Trump said on Saturday, appearing to insinuate something questionable about Maj. Haley, who deployed in June 2023. “Where is he? He’s gone,”Trump said.
“Donald Trump had a rally today, and in that rally, he mocked my husband’s military service. And I will say this, Donald, if you have something to say, don’t say it behind my back. Get on a debate stage and say it to my face,” Haley says in the ad, showcasing her rebuke of Trump’s comments during a campaign stop in Gilbert, South Carolina, on Saturday.
“I have long talked about the fact that we need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75. Donald Trump claims that he would pass that. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. But if you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States,” she said.
Speaking with ABC News’ Alex Presha on Sunday, Haley said of Trump’s remarks, “That’s not the way you want a president of the United States to think. You don’t call military men and women suckers. You don’t go and say, ‘Where is he? Where is he?’ That’s a sick way of thinking.”
“I don’t think he thinks America is worth fighting for,” she added, “because you wouldn’t degrade the people who are defending you if that were the case.”
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