As I wrote earlier, Saturday featured dueling appearances and other activities by former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump, in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential primary in the state.
Haley hired a truck to tow a digital sign behind it, broadcasting all day, on a loop, a super-cut video of President Biden and Trump committing verbal mistakes while speaking at campaign events or while making remarks recently, around the area where Trump would be rallying supporters.
READ MORE: Haley Hires Mobile Billboard Near Trump SC Rally, Doubles Down on Age Remarks on Trump, Biden Hur Report
Then there was Trump’s rally near Myrtle Beach during the afternoon, which was chock-full of enthusiastic supporters hoping to push the former president to a win in his primary opponent Haley’s home state. Trump was not shy about directly hitting Biden on several fronts, including the sorely overwhelmed open southern border and the legal challenges Trump has facing him–some of which are likely deeply politically motivated.
He also reveled in chatting with the crowd about the bombshell Special Counsel report that dropped about President Joe Biden this week–and the disaster of a follow-up press conference by Biden.
READ MORE: Trump Speaks at Rousing Rally for Final Leg of Campaigning in South Carolina
Then in one part of his speech, as I wrote, Trump told a story about a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Haley before she entered the GOP primary race, in which he tried to imply that her husband, Michael Haley, does not stand by her (and perhaps, “he knew” she would decide to run despite Trump’s decision to also run):
Then she comes over to see me at Mar-a-Lago. ‘Sir, I will never run against you.’ She brought her husband. Where’s your husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone! He knew. He knew,
Trump on Haley: Where’s her husband? Oh, he’s away. He’s away! What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband. Where is he? He’s gone. pic.twitter.com/EeifanSxiF
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 10, 2024
It’s unknown if Michael Haley was directly responding to Trump’s jab, but this was posted to his X account after Trump’s event ended:
— Michael Haley (@WMichaelHaley) February 10, 2024
The writing on the meme reads: The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack.”
As many readers will know, there used to be a radio commentator famed for his stories about luminaries throughout American history who had quirky facets of either their upbringing or other events in their lives. Paul Harvey was known for two phrases that he would include in every audio vignette: “Good day!” and “In a moment … the rest of the story” — the latter preceding a commercial break then the big, often delightful reveal.
There’s a “rest of the story” to the one Donald Trump told at the rally.
The commissioned officer [Michael Haley] left for a yearlong deployment in Africa with the South Carolina National Guard last June, something Nikki Haley mentions at every campaign event during her stump speech.
As I noted, Haley wasn’t sitting at home, twiddling her thumbs before what might be the most consequential election of her political life. The campaign trail on Saturday took her through rural areas of the Palmetto state. At one of those rallies, in Gilbert, Haley mentioned what Trump said at his rally about her husband to the crowd, using strong words to push back at what she considered “mock[ing] the service of a combat veteran”:
I am proud of Michael’s service. Every military spouse knows it’s a family sacrifice. … 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 also challenged Trump, once again, to “say it to [her] face” in a one-on-one debate:.
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.
Later, Haley also responded to the remark in a post to followers on X. She wrote in an angry tone:
Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about. Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief.
Help me out here, readers. Has anyone saved up popcorn for where this dust-up between Haley and Trump might go next—and as we careen towards Super Tuesday in March? Because it seems I’m fresh out and need to stock up again.
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