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Nikki Haley hits Donald Trump over comments about veterans days after he attacked her husband

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WASHINGTON  – Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley released an ad Monday doubling down on her condemnation of former President Donald Trump for comments he’s made ridiculing military veterans.

The nearly two-minute spot comes after Trump on Saturday attacked Haley’s husband, who is currently on military deployment. The former South Carolina governor in the ad casts Trump’s latest comments as a broader trend of anti-veteran rhetoric from the ex-president.

“It’s time to support leaders who support our troops,” the ad flashes in large white letters against a stark black background.

In particular, the ad highlights Trump’s 2015 comments about former Sen. John McCain, R-La., who served in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war. Trump during his first presidential campaign, said the Arizona lawmaker was “not a war hero” and that he preferred “people who weren’t captured.”

Haley’s latest spot also resurfaces allegations from Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, that the then-president described fallen soldiers as “losers” and “suckers” in 2018.

The ad comes just days after Trump questioned why Haley’s husband Maj. Michael Haley, who is serving a yearlong deployment in Africa with the South Carolina National Guard, has not appeared on the campaign trail.  

“Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away. What happened to her husband?,” Trump said during a campaign rally in South Carolina.

Haley quickly responded to the comments over the weekend during a campaign event of her own, stating: “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.”

“If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being the president of the United States,” she added.

The mounting fight between Trump and Haley comes less than two weeks before South Carolina’s pivotal Republican primary. Haley is trailing Trump by 30 points in her home state, which is set to vote in the GOP race on Feb. 24.

The former governor is seeking to build momentum in South Carolina after Trump clinched victories in other pivotal 2024 contests, including the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

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