Nikki Haley bashes Ron DeSantis over campaign spending: ‘How can you manage a country?’

haley DeSantis
‘He has blown through $150 million. I don’t even know how you do that.’

Want to predict how a presidential candidate will run America after taking office? Just look at their spending on the campaign trail, Nikki Haley said Wednesday in a debate stage dig at Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“The best way to tell about a candidate is how they run their campaign. He has blown through $150 million. I don’t even know how you do that,” she said.

“He has nothing to show for it. He’s spent more money on private planes than he has on commercials trying to get Iowans to vote for him. If you can’t manage a campaign, how are you going to manage a country?”

Haley’s remarks came less than an hour into the fifth Republican presidential debate, which took place Wednesday night in Des Moines and aired on CNN.

After a raucous round of applause subsided, DeSantis suggested debate viewers look instead to how Florida has done under his leadership as proof of his managerial acumen.

“I’m proud that in the state of Florida, we’re ranked No. 1 for the economy of all 50 states by CNBC,” he said.

Haley chimed in to say Florida also has the highest cost of living in the nation. A July analysis by CNBC didn’t place Florida in the top 10.

DeSantis continued, “She was ranked No. 50 in education when she was Governor of (South Carolina), and of course she wasn’t able to do school choice. She didn’t deliver big tax cuts. We’re also No. 1 for net in-migration, No. 1 for GDP growth amongst large states, No. 1 for talent development, No. 1 for new business formation. On and on it goes.”

DeSantis, Haley and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump were the only Republican presidential candidates to qualify for Wednesday’s debate stage. Trump again opted to skip the event in favor of a nearby town hall streamed concurrently on Fox News.

While DeSantis’ current spending totals aren’t yet in — federal candidates face a Jan. 31 deadline for fourth-quarter fundraising reports — polls have shown that he’s struggled to turn his ample expenditures into more support for his cause.

The debate aired less than a week before the Iowa Caucuses.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Dont Say FLA

    January 10, 2024 at 11:32 pm

    Rhonda is right that State of FLorida is #1 of all states in an economic rating. The thing he omitted was that Florida’s #1 rating is highest inflation.

    • Ruth

      January 11, 2024 at 1:33 am

      It’s not: “Florida ranks 22nd in cost of living.”

    • The Dude

      January 11, 2024 at 6:24 am

      Kali with his false narratives. Just for grins compare the price of a gallon of gas in Florida vs Kalifornia?

      • Dont Say FLA

        January 11, 2024 at 7:42 am

        Neither of Ruth or The Dud seems to understand what inflation is. It’s not a price one day. It’s rate of change and I don’t mean the spare kind.

        • The Dude

          January 11, 2024 at 8:00 am

          Answer the question Kali. I’m getting dizzy from your spin. Speaking of inflation, you can thank that moron currently ruining the country. Bidenomics. That fool and others like you embrace it. Now eat it Kali.

          • Dont Say FLA

            January 11, 2024 at 1:27 pm

            Dud, you wrote an imperative sentence and put a question mark at the end of it. Do you know how punctuation works in the USA version of the English language?

            See, Dud, that was a question, not me telling you to do something and ending my command to you with a question mark and then pretending it’s a question.

            LOL @ Dud. Learn the English, Dud.

  • PeterH

    January 11, 2024 at 12:53 am

    This debate was DeSantis’s to win…… but he lost…..failed miserably!

    Nikki Haley will have a strong showing in Iowa and will go onto win the New Hampshire Republican primary.

    Ramaswamy will be history by Sunday! Good riddance!

  • bob the dog

    January 11, 2024 at 7:52 am

    Here’s another big stretch by Ron. Us News and World Report has Florida ranked 7th instead of first. He’s just another spaghetti cooker throwing things at the wall, trying to get something to stick. He is a dishonest political hack with a personality deficit.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    January 11, 2024 at 8:42 am

    Good Mornting America,
    Even though Nikki’s being kind of a hatefull “B” during the campaign Ron and I, Earl Pitts American, understand that it’s all just for “Show” and just a part of every political campaign in “Our Great Nation” since George Washington ran for POTUS #1 back in the day.
    After Ron is inaugrated we are appointing our worthy challanger, Nikki, as our ambassabor to HAMAS and her first task will be to teach the citizens of HAMAS to respect women, to stop raping and pillaging like Godless Heathens, and to embrace regular bathing along with providing the citizens of HAMAS instructions on the proper “Daily” use of deoderant.
    Finally we will have Nikki oversee the implementation and strict enforcement of a male “Beard Ban” throughout the entire Nation of HAMAS because beards are unsanitary, gross, and make all the male citizans of HAMAS look alike. Punishment for beard violations will be the imediate circumsision of all male violaters of the Beard Ban.
    Earl Pitts American

    • Dont Say FLA

      January 11, 2024 at 4:22 pm

      What does “B” mean again, pops? Boss?

      • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

        January 11, 2024 at 6:32 pm

        It stands for the “B”eauty of all “Beautiful Women” my love.
        Your Dad who loves you,

Comments are closed.


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