A super PAC supporting Nikki Haley’s presidential candidacy has attacked Ron DeSantis as a “phony” Donald Trump impersonator.
SFA Fund, Inc. has a 30-second ad up in Iowa markets, according to Medium Buying, a site tracking advertising buys. The 30-second spot labels Florida’s Governor as “too lame to lead” and “too weak to win.”
The ad primarily compares the speaking style and even the hand gestures of the two Florida politicians in contention for the Republican nomination. It begins with a Trump quote about DeSantis saying, “whatever I want, he wants.” It then goes on to show videos of DeSantis and Trump saying the same phrases.
Much of that comes from a 2018 ad when DeSantis ran for Governor explicitly on his similarities and support of Trump, then the sitting President. The ad leans heavily on a “Build The Wall” ad showing DeSantis teaching his then-baby children, helping his daughter Madison to “build the wall” out of cardboard blocks and to say Trump’s campaign motto “Make America Great Again.”
Those spoken phrases in the new SFA ad get played immediately after Trump says the same words, amplifying the degree to which DeSantis adopted the same speaking pattern.
But it continues to compare even the physical style of DeSantis and Trump while addressing crowds and the press.
That includes a waving of hands immediately above a lectern while speaking into the microphone. It also shows clips side-by-side of both men talking while waving their right hand with their index finger and thumb forming a loop, rather than a more traditional finger point or a closed fist.
“What a phony,” a female narrator says.
The ad, originally released by SFA on digital platforms earlier this week, now reaches Iowa voters across TV airwaves. The ad lands just over a month before Iowa voters caucus for a first-in-the-nation contest to award delegates for the GOP nomination. The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 15.
The latest attack comes as Haley, a former U.N. Ambassador, and DeSantis both seek to make a splash in the Iowa caucuses and establish themselves as the clear alternative to Trump in coming contests. Trump has consistently held a massive lead over other Republicans in the field, while DeSantis and Haley battle for second place.
While polls have shown Haley to be increasingly competitive with DeSantis, survey results released this week show the Florida Governor surging and firmly in second behind only Trump.