Former President Donald Trump, 77, claimed Wednesday night that he “intentionally” confused his rival Nikki Haley and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in what has been characterized as one of the senior moments of the former president.
Trump’s original mistake came when he was campaigning in New Hampshire last month, using Haley’s name instead of Pelosi’s while arguing that the Democratic president should be held more responsible for what happened at the Capitol on January 6. .
Now, as he battles Haley in his home state of South Carolina, telling a raucous crowd in North Charleston that she “gets angrier and crazier” as the GOP primary drags on, Trump rejected the assertion by his main rival that he has lost a step.
“When I interjected – because I’m not a Nikki fan and I’m not a Pelosi fan – and when I purposely interjected names, they said I didn’t know Pelosi from Nikki, from complicated Nikki, complicated Nikki, he did.” “I don’t know,” Trump said. “I got in the way and they made a big deal out of it, I said, ‘No, no, I think they both suck, they have something in common, they both suck.’
“And remember this, when I make a statement like that about Nikki, that means she will never run for vice president,” the former president added to applause.
Former President Donald Trump claimed at his Wednesday night rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, that he intentionally confused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her rival Nikki Haley, a mistake used by his rivals to demonstrate who has lost a step.
Nikki Haley, photographed campaigning in her home state of South Carolina on Tuesday, noted that Trump confused her with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while trying to defend generational leadership in the Republican Party.
During Wednesday night’s rally, Trump also continued to claim that he deliberately substituted President Barack Obama’s name for Biden, blaming “dishonest people” in the media and complaining that it’s “very hard to be sarcastic.”
‘When I say that Barack Hussein Obama is the president of the United States, I mean that there is a lot of control there, because one man cannot put two sentences together. That’s why I say Barack Hussein Obama,” Trump explained.
Both Haley, 52, and President Joe Biden’s campaign have pointed out Trump’s recent missteps, as she has long maintained that the country is ready for a new generation of leadership and as Biden’s team tries to mitigate the problems related to the age of the 81-year-old president. .
“It’s the same script every time: Donald Trump says something unhinged, faces backlash, and rushes to clean up his mess with a dirty mop,” Haley’s spokeswoman AnnMarie Graham-Barnes said Wednesday in reaction to the Trump’s performance at the rally. “Seventy percent of Americans do not want Joe Biden to be forgotten or Trump’s perpetual chaos machine.”
Trump lashed out at Haley and Biden during Wednesday night’s rally, becoming especially infuriated by comparisons made between him and the president.
He said Haley’s numbers were “sinking” as Trump continues to hold a 36-point lead in the former U.N. ambassador and governor’s home state.
“Her numbers are going down, as she gets angrier, crazier, and increasingly scarred by Trump Derangement Syndrome,” the former president said. “Nikki has come so far to the left thanks to her Democratic donors,” Trump also accused.
He hit his rival for “going after the Republican Party” and read past quotes she said about him, including that “he was determined to protect our military.”
In recent days, Haley has pointed to comments Trump made about her husband, a deployed military service member, and previous disparaging comments he had allegedly said about members of the military in an effort to take away some of her support.
Trump also attempted to link Haley to Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, the Senate’s top anti-Trump lawmaker, and to Obama during his Wednesday night speech.
“Nikki is also political best friends with a guy named Mitt Romney,” Trump said, earning boos from the crowd. “They’ve basically thrown him out of office, remember he was in a mask running down Pennsylvania Avenue with Antifa.”
Trump was likely referencing Romney’s participation in a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020 and subsequently his decision not to run for re-election in the Senate.
“And she seriously thought about supporting a gentleman whose name is Barack Hussein Obama,” Trump said of Haley, drawing more boos. “And she decided to go with Romney instead of her.”
In 2012, Haley, then the governor of South Carolina, criticized Romney for being too liberal. with a political history and noted that he seemed inclined to support the presidential candidacy of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
“That’s all we need to know about her,” Trump continued. “I don’t want to waste a lot of time on her because we have more important issues,” he said, moving on to “Biden and her goon” calling them “desperate.”
‘Did you see this guy on TV today? He is like a crazed lunatic. Rounded eyes. His eyes are very round. But I know he didn’t have any plastic surgery…his eyes are round. Foreign leaders look at him and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” Trump said.
It was unclear exactly who Trump was referring to, although Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, appeared at the White House news conference on Wednesday.
Biden himself appeared briefly on the North Lawn to examine Valentine’s Day decorations alongside first lady Jill Biden.
Trump also reiterated the claim that he did not believe Biden would end up being the Democratic nominee.
“Personally, I don’t think he’ll make it through the door,” Trump said. ‘I hate it when they compare him to me. He is old, he is broken, he is incompetent, but let’s also talk about Trump.”
South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who sought Haley’s help when Trump endorsed his opponent in the 2022 primary, recently endorsed the former president and appeared at his rally in North Charleston on Wednesday night.
Sen. Tim Scott, whom Haley had appointed to the Senate, referenced their recent engagement when he took the stage Wednesday night, but told the crowd that he explained to his fiancée that this Valentine’s Day he needed to introduce to the “next president of the United States.” state
“You know, I’m here, I make these speeches, all the time, all the time, we have the biggest crowds ever,” Trump boasted. “If I didn’t have it, you’d know before anyone else.”
During the rally, Trump also doubled down on his controversial comments about not defending NATO allies against Russia if they did not meet their spending goals.
‘Look, if they are not going to pay, we are not going to protect. OK?’ Trump said.
The former president also attempted to distance himself from his previous praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, pointing to the leader’s surprising endorsement of Biden that came earlier Wednesday.
“Putin is not a fan of mine,” Trump said in North Charleston.
As his opening act, Trump had both South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who asked for Haley’s help in winning re-election after Trump endorsed his Republican opponent, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, whom Haley appointed to the upper house.
“We’ve come a long way, we’ve come a long way,” Trump laughed as he greeted Mace from the podium.
The congresswoman, who has clashed with Trump in the past, was initially greeted with a series of cheers and boos.
Scott, who is reportedly being considered for Trump’s vice presidential pick, opened the rally by referencing his recent engagement.
‘As you probably remember, I recently got engaged. And today is Valentine’s Day. But I told my fiancée that I have the opportunity to introduce her to the next president of the United States,” Scott said to applause.