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Donald Trump
Donald Trump at a campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H., on Jan. 17, 2024.Matt Rourke / AP

Eyes on November: Trump steps up Haley attacks in New Hampshire

Trump said Wednesday that Republicans would lose the House and Senate if Haley is the nominee.

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Former President Donald Trump took aim at Nikki Haley during a speech in New Hampshire on Wednesday, peppering his stump speech with attacks on his former United Nations ambassador. 

Trump said Republicans would lose the House and Senate if Haley is the GOP nominee, telling the crowd, “A vote for Nikki Haley this Tuesday is a vote for Joe Biden and a Democrat Congress this November because that’s what’s gonna happen. But if she wins, Biden wins,” NBC’s Jake Traylor reports.

Haley responded as Trump’s speech was underway, posting on X, “Trump is confused about his own record. Under Trump’s leadership, Republicans lost the House, the Senate, and the White House. I crush Biden by double digits, while Trump barely squeaks by Biden on a good day,” per NBC’s Sarah Dean. 

But Haley and Trump have not come face-to-face yet in the campaign, with Trump refusing to participate in any debates. After the Iowa caucuses, Haley also declined to participate unless Trump is onstage, prompting CNN to cancel its debate, which had been scheduled for Sunday. 

Haley, meanwhile, has kept a relatively light schedule in the Granite State and she is not taking questions from voters at her events. Some New Hampshire Republicans suggested those strategies could “doom” her campaign, write NBC’s Jonathan Allen, Henry J. Gomez and Allan Smith. Haley’s spokesperson dismissed suggestions that she is not as active as “complete and total nonsense.” 

In other campaign news … 

Veepstakes: Trump and some allies are looking at New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik as a potential vice presidential pick, CNBC’s Brian Schwartz and NBC’s Katherine Doyle and Scott Wong report. 

Staff shakeups: Never Back Down, the super PAC backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, laid off staffers on Wednesday, including in Nevada, per the New York Times. DeSantis’ own campaign, meanwhile, is moving the majority of its staff to South Carolina, NBC’s Alec Hernández reports.

Biden’s bucks: President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his campaign raised $1.6 million in the 24 hours after Trump won the Iowa caucuses. Biden’s campaign is also hitting the airwaves in South Carolina, spending $149,000 on an ad buy ahead of the Feb. 3 primary, per AdImpact. 

I’m sorry, so sorry: White House chief of staff Jeff Zients phoned former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday to apologize for the Democratic National Committee’s jab in response to Hutchinson’s announcement he was ending his presidential bid, per NBC’s Peter Nicholas.

Abortion politics: NBC’s Julie Tsirkin and Kate Santaliz detail national Democrats’ “all-out reproductive freedom campaign” following successful abortion rights efforts at the state level. 

She’s running: Nella Domenici, a former hedge fund executive and daughter of former New Mexico GOP Sen. Pete Domenici, announced Wednesday that she’ll run for Senate against Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich.

He’s back: Former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who made unsuccessful runs for president, filed paperwork on Wednesday to run for Congress as an independent against Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, reports.

Mace race: South Carolina GOP Rep. Nancy Mace’s former chief of staff is considering running against her this year, Politico reports.

Dueling ads: Democrats and Republicans released new attack ads on TV Wednesday in New York’s 3rd District, where Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip and Democrat Tom Suozzi are vying to replace ousted GOP Rep. George Santos in a special election next month.