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Nikki Haley takes aim at GOP rival for campaigning with ‘anti-Israel’ member of Congress

GOP presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley let loose on her opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, this week for hitting the campaign trail in Iowa with a member of Congress who she called the ‘most anti-Israel Republican there is.’

DeSantis was joined at a Johnston, Iowa, town hall on Saturday by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who made headlines for a string of recent votes in the House of Representatives that saw him side with a number of Democrats, including the far-left ‘Squad,’ against bills in support of Israel.

‘Ron DeSantis – who says Ukraine’s a territorial dispute, and that this is Israel’s war, not America’s war – turns around and brings in a Republican into Iowa that is the most anti-Israel Republican there is,’ Haley told a crowd of supporters at a campaign event near Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.

‘[Massie] voted with the ‘Squad’ against calling out antisemitism on college campuses, voted with the ‘Squad’ against hitting the presidents that were allowing it to happen, and voted with the ‘Squad,’ the only Republican, to turn around and ban the fact that we shouldn’t give $6 billion to Iran for five hostages. That’s who he brought to Iowa. So let him answer for that,’ she said.

Massie, a self-described Libertarian, has opposed much of the legislation in support of Israel introduced following the horrific Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 people, including babies. However, he has maintained that he is a supporter of Israel.

Last month, he voted against a resolution reaffirming the nation of Israel’s right to exist, joining Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., two members of the ‘Squad,’ in opposing the legislation. In a post on X following the vote, he cited the language within the resolution for his decision.

‘I agree with the title ‘Reaffirming the State of Israel’s Right to Exist’ and much of the language, but I’m voting ‘No’ on the resolution because it equates anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful,’ he wrote.

Massie also voted alongside 22 Democrats last month against a resolution condemning antisemitism on college campuses. He cited concerns over free speech as the reason for his vote.

‘Free speech means protecting speech you don’t like, not just speech you do like. Also, who defines antisemitism?’ he wrote in a post on X.

Additionally, Massie voted against the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act, a bill to freeze funds associated with the Iran hostage deal and impose maximum sanctions on the nation.

‘I’m voting against HR 5961 because there’s no legal or moral authority for us to freeze or steal assets of other countries we are not at war with. It’s also shortsighted for us to use our super-power status to force foreign banks to freeze assets of sovereign countries,’ he wrote on X about his vote.

DeSantis responded to criticism of his appearance with Massie during a Monday campaign event by stating that he did not see eye-to-eye with the congressman on foreign relations issues and referred to him as ‘basically an isolationist.’

‘He votes against anything having to do with foreign relations. I disagree with that,’ DeSantis said. ‘But you know, my 80% friend is not my 20% enemy, and we’ve got to stop thinking that way, as Republicans.’ 

When reached for comment, DeSantis campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin told Fox News Digital, ‘Nikki Haley is just trying to distract from her record of inviting Gaza refugees to the U.S. and supporting U.S. tax dollars going to the Gaza Strip.’

‘Ron DeSantis has been the clearest, most consistent pro-Israel candidate in this race. He has unequivocally supported Israel in exterminating Hamas, passed the strongest anti-Iran legislation of any state in a special session in November, and jumped into action to bring Americans home from Israel who were stranded by Joe Biden,’ he added.

In contrast to the DeSantis campaign’s debunked claim about Gaza refugees, Haley has said surrounding countries sympathetic to Hamas should be the ones to accept refugees from Gaza, not the U.S.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Massie’s office for comment.

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