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DeSantis Rips Haley as Insufficiently Conservative in Heated Exchange

By CM Chaney · November 15, 2023

In brief…

  • DeSantis criticized Haley's leadership over George Floyd tweet, said she adopted "left-wing mindset"
  • Haley campaign disputed DeSantis' claim about her transgender bathroom stance
  • Pointed to 2018 DeSantis comments leaving bathroom issue alone
  • Clash highlighted GOP divides, DeSantis questioning Haley's conservatism
Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis slammed Nikki Haley's reactions to George Floyd's death and record on transgender rights as too liberal during a South Carolina radio interview, sparking a war of words with Haley's campaign over Republican ideology.  Office of the Governor of Florida / South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley / Wikimedia

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s “leadership” over her reaction to the death of George Floyd, questioning her “left-wing mindset” during an appearance Tuesday on a South Carolina radio show.

DeSantis referenced calling up the National Guard during the Floyd protests, contrasting his strong support for police with Haley’s tweet that Floyd’s death should be “personal and painful for everyone.”

DeSantis argued leaders should fight such narratives, touting his record of “defeating the left.”

The governor was referring to Haley’s May 2020 tweet stating Floyd’s death “was personal and painful for many” and that “to heal, it needs to be personal and painful for everyone.”

DeSantis and the radio host also slammed Haley’s record on transgender bathroom bills, accusing her of killing legislation “to protect girls.” Haley’s campaign disputed this, claiming she always supported separate bathrooms based on biological sex.

They pointed to a 2018 DeSantis interview as a candidate where he said he would “leave it as it is” regarding transgender people choosing bathrooms. Since taking office, DeSantis has signed several bills limiting transgender rights.

The fiery exchange highlighted DeSantis questioning Haley’s conservative credentials, while Haley’s campaign portrayed the governor as “desperate” and “losing” in distorting her record. The clash underscored Republican divides ahead of the 2024 presidential race.