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Biden campaign to launch ad targeting former Nikki Haley voters

After Haley exited the GOP primary in March, Biden praised the former South Carolina governor and said her supporters have "a place ... in my campaign."
Joe Biden; Nikki Haley.
Joe Biden; Nikki Haley.AP

President Joe Biden's campaign, flush with cash after Thursday’s $26 million fundraiser in New York, is putting some of that advantage into a new ad that will directly aim to sway supporters of Nikki Haley to support the Democrat’s re-election.

Senior members of the Biden campaign played the planned ad during a meeting of the National Finance Committee in New York on Friday, two sources in attendance told NBC News. The Biden campaign later posted a version of it to X.

The ad features former President Donald Trump, in his own words, calling the former South Carolina governor “Birdbrain” and saying her supporters were not welcome in his campaign.

In a January post on his Truth Social website, Trump said: "Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to Birdbrain, from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp. We don’t want them, and will not accept them."

Trump walked back that threat after Haley exited the race, saying in a post that he “would further like to invite all of the Haley supporters to join the greatest movement in the history of our Nation.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to comment about the new ad, including how widely it would air on paid television. 

Trump never lost a Republican nominating contest this year, securing his party’s nomination for the third consecutive presidential election earlier this month to set up the longest general election campaign in the nation’s history. 

Biden advisers, though, have been closely tracking the level of support, both in earlier, contested Republican primaries and caucuses as well as those that followed Haley’s decision to end her campaign for indicators of where Democrats can potentially pick up support from independent and even Republican voters who voted against Trump.

Moderate and anti-Trump Republicans contributed to Biden’s victory in 2020. Some political observers told NBC News in March that former Haley voters could make a difference in some battleground states, including Pennsylvania, which Biden narrowly won in 2020.

“Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign,” Biden said in a statement after the South Carolina Republican ended her bid. Biden also praised Haley for having the "courage" to challenge the former president.

The Trump campaign is pushing back on the Biden campaign’s efforts. A Trump campaign senior official said a “good chunk of the people who voted for Nikki in some states” were “Democrats.” 

“We’ve made it clear that the door is always open” to Republican Haley supporters, the official added. “We have no doubt that we’re going to get them back because they’re facing a choice between continued slide downhill from an economic standpoint, from a security standpoint, from a border security standpoint, and more of the same.”