By Meg Kinnard | Related Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nikki Haley is utilizing the closing days of her South Carolina Republican major matchup with Donald Trump to hone her argument that she is the lone remaining candidate who can unite People, regardless of the previous president’s electoral wins up to now and his reputation in her residence state.

It’s a tall order for Haley as South Carolina prepares to vote on Saturday. Trump’s 2016 major win helped cement his front-runner standing, and he boasts help from the entire state’s prime elected leaders and all however one among its congressional Republicans.

However Haley has maintained that her capacity to stay it out within the race, having outlasted a dozen also-ran candidates, implies that she’s in it for the lengthy haul. Her amped-up fundraising may preserve her going regardless of her earlier losses to Trump.

A part of Haley’s argument is her continued showcase of her overseas coverage knowhow, having served as Trump’s United Nations ambassador for 2 years, as an increasing number of of her marketing campaign appearances function areas by which she says she would have acted otherwise than her former boss.

“I’ll completely put the hammer on our NATO international locations that they do have to hold their weight, however you do this behind closed doorways,” Haley stated Sunday throughout a city corridor on Fox Information with John Roberts, broadcast from a venue in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

It was a reference to Trump’s warning to NATO allies throughout a marketing campaign rally earlier this month that he “would encourage” Russia “to do regardless of the hell they need” to international locations which might be “delinquent” — nations that in his view usually are not doing their half in that alliance. NATO’s chief stated Trump’s assaults on long-standing worldwide alliances and overseas assist may undermine safety and put American and European forces in danger.

“We should always ensure we inform our companions it’s of their finest curiosity to carry their very own weight,” Haley stated Sunday. She stated “Trump did it by saying he was going to encourage Putin to invade our allies. That’s the improper means.”

She sharpened these feedback throughout a Monday morning marketing campaign cease within the central South Carolina metropolis of Sumter, residence to an Air Drive base in addition to many army veterans. She stated Trump is “siding with a thug” in Vladimir Putin, whom she known as “a dictator who killed his political opponents.”

It’s an argument she makes in a brand new tv advert, a part of a $6 million promoting flurry Haley has launched within the ultimate weeks of the marketing campaign throughout her state.

In “Unite,” which begins airing Monday and was shared earlier than its launch with The Related Press, Haley argues she is the one alternative among the many remaining candidates who can deal with disputes with overseas leaders in a means that can preserve America on strong footing overseas.

“When your enemies assume you’re weak, your chief have to be sturdy,” a narrator says, over pictures of overseas leaders together with Chinese language President Xi Jinping and Putin. “When your nation is split, your president should unite us.”

The advert argues that Haley “supplied ethical readability throughout our darkest hours,” over headlines from protection of the racist slaying of 9 Black parishioners at a Charleston church in 2015, throughout Haley’s second time period as South Carolina governor. “What’s subsequent? That’s as much as you.”

Saying Sunday — as she has all through her marketing campaign — that she’s “OK being the underdog now,” Haley has been agency in saying that she has by no means misplaced a race and believes voters will see her as the proper option to shift away from the “chaos” she says follows Trump. She additionally often notes that, whereas Trump has received the earliest contests, she has been ascendent, pointing to the shrinking margins between her totals and Trump’s within the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.

However over the weekend, Haley additionally started making an attraction to South Carolinians who usually vote in Democratic primaries, for Saturday’s vote, a message she additionally echoed throughout marketing campaign occasions on Monday.

She famous that anybody who didn’t vote within the Feb. 3 Democratic major — which attracted underneath 5% of eligible voters statewide — can vote on this one, as she bid for crossover help from individuals who need to solid a vote towards Trump.

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