Nikki Haley, within the remaining stretch earlier than the South Carolina main, goes all in on attacking former President Donald J. Trump, her former boss and chief rival, whom she trails by an enormous margin in her residence state.

Ms. Haley, the previous governor of South Carolina, has used Mr. Trump’s feedback over the weekend, about overseas coverage and her household, to query his health for workplace, after months of treading calmly on his authorized travails and growing authoritarian rhetoric.

In Elgin, S.C., on Monday, she solid Mr. Trump as disrespectful to navy personnel, a risk to nationwide safety, and too addled by outdated age to successfully serve. The harsher method is central to her argument that the nation doesn’t desire a rematch between President Biden and Mr. Trump and that she is extra electable than the previous president in a normal election, whilst polls present her behind Mr. Trump by over 30 points in South Carolina.

Ms. Haley has used a particular counsel report that steered Mr. Biden struggles with memory problems to argue that the identical is true of Mr. Trump, pointing to his conflation of her with Representative Nancy Pelosi of California and his seemingly off-script remarks.

“The particular counsel comes out and says he’s mentally diminished,” Ms. Haley mentioned of Mr. Biden, earlier than including: “That’s not removed from Donald Trump.”

She criticized the previous president’s feedback over the weekend insinuating that her husband, who’s deployed to Africa with the Nationwide Guard, left the nation to flee her. These remarks, Ms. Haley mentioned on Monday, had been insulting to all navy personnel, including, “With that type of disrespect for the navy, he’s not certified to be the president of america, as a result of I don’t belief him to guard them.”

Chatting with reporters afterward, she received extra private.

“Essentially the most hurt he’s ever come throughout is whether or not a golf ball hits him on a golf cart, and also you’re going to go and mock our women and men within the navy?” she mentioned. “I don’t care what celebration you’re in, that’s not OK.”

Ms. Haley additionally hit Mr. Trump for suggesting he would encourage Russian aggression towards U.S. allies behind on funds to the navy alliance. She mentioned the remarks put service members and “all of our allies in hurt’s manner.”

“Donald Trump is taking the facet of a thug,” she mentioned, noting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its detainment of Evan Gershkovich, a reporter at The Wall Road Journal.

And she or he mentioned Mr. Trump had his “fingerprints on” a slew of different examples of what she referred to as Mr. Trump’s chaotic affect over the celebration, just like the collapse of a bipartisan border deal in Congress and reports of turnover at the Republican National Committee. Ms. Haley has additionally, in current weeks, criticized Mr. Trump for spending $50 million in campaign funds on court docket appearances.

Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, pointed to his file in workplace in saying “there was no larger advocate for our courageous navy women and men than President Trump.”

“Nikki Haley advocates for larger overseas intervention and helps countless wars that would depart extra American heroes useless,” Ms. Leavitt mentioned in a press release. “It’s a very good factor she’s going to by no means be commander in chief.”

Earlier than the primary Republican nominating contest in Iowa in January, Ms. Haley’s stump speech, which she not often deviated from, usually performed up her file in South Carolina, overseas coverage expertise as Mr. Trump’s United Nations ambassador and her imaginative and prescient for the long run. However for the reason that Iowa caucuses, the place she completed third, she has regularly ramped up her attacks on Mr. Trump, progressing from offhand jabs about his administration’s elevating the nationwide debt to centering his weaknesses in speeches.

Requested about her harsher method, and why she didn’t strike that tone sooner, Ms. Haley mentioned she had averted such assaults as a result of she wished to give attention to a imaginative and prescient for the long run.

“If I make it about me, that’s no totally different than what Donald Trump does each single day as a result of all he does is make every part about himself,” she mentioned.

Ms. Haley’s largest problem, nevertheless, was maybe finest exhibited by her occasions themselves: On the Harley-Davidson dealership the place she spoke on a wet afternoon on Monday, she addressed round 50 folks, the place some chairs that had been arrange went unfilled.

And a few who attended weren’t essentially voters she wants to chop into Mr. Trump’s lead. John Schuller, a 76-year-old Democrat, mentioned he believed it was “smug and egocentric” for Mr. Biden “to not step off the stage and let somebody new come on.” Ms. Haley, whom he plans to again within the main, appeared like a “affordable voice” — although he acknowledged that her path ahead could be robust.

“Miracles occur,” Mr. Schuller mentioned. “I hope South Carolina could make a miracle occur.”



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