DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is using a snowstorm in Iowa to take aim at GOP nomination rival Nikki Haley.
After Haley canceled an event Monday morning in Sioux City, in the northwest corner of the state due to a snowstorm, Ramaswamy took to social media to spotlight that “I’m headed to Sioux City for our event right now. We’re not canceling.”
Ramaswamy, the multimillioinaire biotech entrepreneur and first-time candidate who for months has been a very vocal critic of Haley, charged that the former South Carolina governor who later served as ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, scrapped her event in Sioux City to “avoid embarrassment.”
He tweeted out a clip of an NBC News report that showed a nearly empty Horizon Family Restaurant in Sioux City, where the Haley countdown-to-caucus event was supposed to have been held. But the clip that Ramaswamy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, didn’t include the portion of the report where the correspondent noted that Haley’s stop was canceled because of heavy snow.
Ramaswamy, who drove two and a half hours from Des Moines to Sioux City, continued to jab at Haley, saying at a campaign event in the city that “some saw a snowstorm, canceled events in northwest Iowa. We got four events. We’re keeping them intact.”
But Ramaswamy apparently made no reference to former President Donald Trump’s campaign, which also canceled an event due to the storm that had dumped a few inches of snow in portions of western and southern Iowa by midday, with more forecast.
The Trump campaign “indefinitely postponed” an event in Ottumwa, where former Arkansas Gov. MIke Huckabee, a two-time GOP presidential candidate, and his daughter, current Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders – who served as Trump’s White House press secretary – were scheduled to stump on the former president’s behalf.
Haley’s campaign didn’t respond to the slight from Ramaswamy, but noted that they texted supporters early Monday morning to alert them that the Sioux City event had been canceled due to the snow and poor driving conditions.
Haley has soared in recent months, thanks in part to her well-regarded performances in the first three Republican presidential primary debates.
Over the past month, Haley has caught up with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the latest Iowa polls and in national surveys, for a distant second place behind Trump, who remains the commanding frontrunner for the nomination as he makes his third straight White House run. Iowa’s Jan. 15 caucuses lead off the GOP presidential nominating calendar.
Later Monday, Haley will take questions from “Special Report” chief political anchor Bret Baier and “The Story” executive editor and anchor Martha MacCallum, who will host a Fox News town hall in Des Moines. The hour-long town hall starts at 6 p.m. ET and will be in front of a live audience.
Haley has also surged to second place and narrowed the gap with Trump in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary and votes second – just eight days after Iowa.
Ramaswamy, who’s polling in the single digits in the latest surveys in Iowa, has been repeatedly crisscrossing the Hawkeye State in recent months, often making numerous campaign stops per day. On Monday, his wife Apoorvaa filled in for Ramaswamy at one event, so the candidate could make it to the northwestern part of the state, which is heavily Republican.
Haley’s been drawing healthy crowds as she campaigns in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Her most recent visit to Sioux City came last month, when she drew a couple hundred people to her event.
There’s been plenty of acrimony between Ramaswamy and Haley in recent months, as they repeatedly clashed at the GOP presidential primary debates.
Ramswamy wasn’t the only candidate to jab at Haley over the snowstorm.
A text from the DeSantis campaign earlier Monday also took aim at Haley over the Sioux City cancellation, claiming that she scrapped the event “because she can’t stop making gaffes.”
Haley’s failure to mention slavery when answering a question late last month about the causes of the Civil War quickly went viral, and provided instant ammunition for her GOP presidential competitors. So did her comments this past weekend that you “change personalities” from Iowa to New Hampshire and last week that New Hampshire voters “correct” the results of the Iowa caucuses.