Haley mocks Trump in effort to entice debate with former president ahead of SC primary: ‘Can’t hide’

Former U.N. Ambassador and presidential candidate Nikki Haley is poking fun at former President Donald Trump in a new effort to entice a debate between the two ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary later this month.

Her campaign announced on Wednesday the launch of a new digital ad — part of a previously announced $4 million ad buy — seeking to highlight the differences between the two candidates and their presences before audiences discussing important policy issues.

The ad, titled, ‘Exclusive Footage of the Haley-Trump Debate,’ includes clips of Haley’s debate performances in recent months, as well as scenes from some of Trump’s various campaign speeches, shining light on the fact that the former president has yet to participate in a debate this election cycle.

The ad will also direct people who want to see a debate between the two candidates to sign a petition.

‘It’s not surprising that Donald Trump refuses to debate Nikki Haley. He knows he’s not the candidate he used to be and that Nikki would mop the floor with him,’ Haley campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas told Fox News Digital. 

‘He can’t hide behind a teleprompter and lie about her record in a debate, but that’s no excuse: the people of South Carolina deserve to hear from the candidates side-by-side,’ she added.

Trump Campaign National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt responded to the ad by telling Fox News Digital it would ‘waste’ Trump’s time to debate ‘a candidate who was crushed by 30 points in Iowa, defeated by double digits in New Hampshire, literally lost to ‘nobody’ in Nevada, and has zero pathway to victory.’ 

‘As he has personally stated, President Trump will debate his real opponent, Joe Biden, any day of the week,’ she added.

The ad comes after Trump challenged President Biden to an ‘immediate’ debate during a Monday radio appearance.

‘I’d like to debate him now because we should debate. We should debate for the good of the country,’ Trump said.

Biden was asked about Trump’s comments later that day while campaigning in Nevada.

‘Immediately? Well, if I were him, I’d want to debate me too. He’s got nothing else to do,’ he told reporters.

Trump and Haley are set to go head-to-head in her home state of South Carolina for its primary on Feb. 24. So far, polling shows Trump with a double-digit advantage.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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