Nikki Haley campaign has perfect comeback to Kari Lake gloating about end of 2024 run

The Trump-endorsed US Senate candidate also used a misspelt version of Ms Haley’s given first name

Dan Gooding,Joe Sommerlad
Wednesday 06 March 2024 23:49 GMT
Nikki Haley hugs fans after losing South Carolina primary

A senior member of Nikki Haley’s campaign team fired back at Kari Lake after the Republican Senate candidate from Arizona seemingly gloated about the end of her presidential campaign.

A Donald Trump-endorsed candidate, Ms Lake posted on X that Ms Haley was set to suspend her 2024 campaign, following “more humiliating, landslide losses on Super Tuesday”.

In a throwback to Meghan McCain’s “No peace, b****!” retort to Ms Lake in February, Ms Haley’s communications chief Nachama Soloveichik quoted Ms Lake’s latest post and used the same phrase.

Ms Lake’s post appeared to echo back to the feud she began with John McCain’s daughter in February when she criticised the late US Senator on social media and then tried to turn it around by appealing to Ms McCain as a fellow “mama bear”.

Wednesday’s post by the former television news anchor also appeared to backfire, with several replies saying her attitude was not the way to appeal to Haley voters or those who were undecided.

The earlier feud began on Monday 19 February, when Ms Lake appeared on Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos on the Phoenix radio station KTAR News.

During her appearance on the airwaves, she was asked about a campaign rally in 2022 at which she had said: “We don’t have any McCain Republicans in here, do we? Get the hell out!”

At around the same time, Ms Lake also told Real America’s Voice that McCain “ran Arizona with an iron fist” during his lifetime. She had also claimed that “John McCain may be dead, but he’s reaching up from the grave trying to keep power in Arizona,” characterising the Vietnam War hero as a power-mad control freak.

“Rarely did he do anything good for the people,” she added.

An avid supporter of Donald Trump – who himself feuded bitterly with McCain before the senator died from brain cancer in August 2018 – Ms Lake appeared to recognise her divisive comments could cost her at the ballot box and tried to claim that she had only been joking.

“It was said in jest. And I think that if John McCain, who had a great sense of humour, would have heard it, he would have laughed,” she said.

“I want everyone’s vote, whether you are a McCain… if you call yourself a McCain Republican, if you call yourself a middle-of-the-road Republican, a Trump Republican, an America First Republican, I want your vote and guess what? I want independents’ votes as well and I want disaffected Democrats – and there’s a lot of them who are waking up and saying, ‘This is not working out.’”

Having heard the broadcast and being less than convinced by Ms Lake’s sudden about-face, a furious Ms McCain took to X the next day.

“Kari Lake is trying to walk back her continued attacks on my Dad (& family) and all of his loyal supporters after telling them to ‘get the hell out’,” she posted.

“Guess she realised she can’t become a Senator without us. No peace, b****. We see you for who you are – and are repulsed by it.”

Ms Lake responded by reaching out to Ms McCain on the platform on Wednesday 21 February, offering an olive branch by appealing to their similarities as a fellow “Mama Bear” of two children, revealing her father Larry had also died from cancer and declaring that “our children’s future is too important to let it slip away over past grudges or hurt feelings”.

Ms Lake said she valued Ms McCain and her family and their passion for Arizona.

In response, Ms McCain quoted the post and repeated in all-caps: “NO PEACE, B****!”

That post went viral and then came back again on Wednesday with Ms Soloveichik’s post.

Ms Lake was also criticised on Wednesday for using the former UN Ambassador’s legal first name “Nimarata”, although she misspelt it as “Nimrata”.

“Ms. Lake, there is nothing wrong with Niki Haley’s given first name--it’s quite a beautiful name, really. But, like former president Trump, you use it in a prejudicial manner to make her seem foreign. That’s wrong. It’s unChristian and unAmerican. It appeals to the worst in us,” one user replied.

Another X user urged Ms Lake to “humble yourself” and seek to represent all Arizonans, while many others said her attitude towards Ms Haley made her less appealing as a candidate.

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