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Nikki Haley’s campaign manager to DeSantis: You’re Trump ‘without any of the charm’

Ron DeSantis and Nikki HaleyFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley

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  • Nikki Haley’s campaign took a preemptive swipe at Ron DeSantis.
  • Haley’s campaign manager said DeSantis is all of Trump’s drama “without any of the charm.”
  • DeSantis is widely expected to announce his presidential campaign this week. 

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign took a preemptive swing at Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, labeling the Florida governor as a defective imitation of Donald Trump.

“Ron DeSantis is like Trump, drama and all – but without any of the charm,”  Haley’s campaign manager Betsy Ankney wrote in a memo to allies and campaign surrogates that was first published by Politico Playbook.

Ankey did concede that DeSantis doesn’t tweet like Trump either but cautioned that “his record shows that his ‘leadership style’ will only lead to more drama.”

DeSantis has yet to launch a presidential campaign, but he is widely expected to do so this week. Ankey’s missive illustrates how many of DeSantis’ soon-to-be rivals are trying to attack the governor as an awkward operator who is not a perfected version of the former president.

“Leaks, abuse of power, drama, and petty political fights. You’d think these are headlines you might have seen during the Trump administration,” Ankney wrote. “Even fierce critics of Donald Trump have noticed that, compared to the Trump campaign, DeSantis is far more disorganized.”

Haley’s apparent strategy underlines the difficulty many in the growing GOP field now or soon will face. To become the party’s nominee, they will eventually have to take down Trump. But right now, DeSantis is the only challenger who is polling in the double-digits and even he is massively behind the former president. According to FiveThirtyEight’s weighted tracker, Trump has an almost 33 percentage-point lead over DeSantis. While Haley, a former Cabinet official, is at risk of getting overtaken by political novice and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Despite the attacks thus far, Republicans continue to have widely favorable views of DeSantis.

DeSantis has been hammered for months with mostly anonymous stories about his aloofness and general difficulty connecting with voters in the intimate retail politics settings that dominate early state campaigning. Haley’s team even went so far as to point to a Daily Beast report about how DeSantis housed a chocolate pudding by eating it with just his three fingers.

DeSantis, whose team did not respond to a request for comment on the memo, has denied the pudding allegation.  

Read the original article on Business Insider

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