As reported by CNN, former President Donald Trump commemorated the third anniversary of his departure from the White House with a focused campaign effort in Manchester, New Hampshire. His primary target: former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as they both vie for support in the upcoming New Hampshire primary.
In a speech that spanned over 90 minutes, Trump combined a mix of personal grievances and pointed attacks, especially targeting Haley, who is emerging as a close rival in the Granite State primary polls. The former president critiqued Haley for her connections with centrist and anti-Trump groups, questioning her allegiance to the Republican cause. Additionally, Trump’s campaign utilized digital displays at the event to underscore Haley’s alleged ties to “Democrats, Wall Street & Globalists,” and her position on Social Security, among other issues.
Addressing Haley’s earlier comments about his age and mental fitness, Trump claimed to have recently aced a cognitive test, asserting his mental acuity. This came after Haley raised concerns about Trump’s mental fitness, referencing an incident where he confused her with Nancy Pelosi.
The New Hampshire primary is proving to be a critical battleground. A CNN/UNH poll suggests Trump’s lead over Haley among likely GOP primary voters, with a significant portion of registered Republicans backing Trump. However, Haley appears to have an edge among undeclared voters, which could play a decisive role in the primary outcome.
Trump also took aim at the state’s voting rules, erroneously stating that Democrats are allowed to participate in the Republican primary. This claim was refuted by New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, who clarified the regulations regarding party-specific voting.
Looking beyond New Hampshire, Trump’s campaign is setting its sights on South Carolina, Haley’s home turf. With a lead in the polls and support from key GOP leaders in the state, Trump’s campaign strategy was evident in his New Hampshire rally, which included appearances by South Carolina political figures like Rep. Russell Fry and Gov. Henry McMaster.
Trump’s comments extended to international politics as well, where he expressed admiration for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s leadership style. This comes amidst Trump’s ongoing call for presidential immunity from prosecution, a topic he revisited during the rally.
As the New Hampshire primary draws near, Trump’s vigorous campaigning against Haley signifies a pivotal moment in the Republican nomination race, showcasing the internal dynamics of the party as reported by CNN.