Nikki Haley features husband in campaign ad

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Nikki Haley's campaign is launching a new ad focusing on her foreign affairs views — and husband Michael Haley — as she tries to build on growing momentum in the dwindling Republican primary field.

The ad opens with photographs that capture Michael Haley's 2013 homecoming from his first deployment to Afghanistan. During the 30-second spot, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the U.N. talks about the difficulties her husband experienced after his return.

"When Michael returned from Afghanistan, loud noises startled him," Haley says in the ad. "He couldn't be in crowds. The transition was hard."

The ad, called "American Strength," will run on broadcast, cable TV, and across digital platforms. Details were first obtained by CBS News ahead of its Friday morning release.

Michael Haley is currently on his second deployment with the U.S. Army in Africa.

In the fourth Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, Nikki Haley praised her husband's service to his country in response to attacks by opponent Vivek Ramaswamy.

"Nikki, you were bankrupt when you left the U.N.,'' Ramaswamy said before going on to accuse Haley of corruption. "After you left the U.N., you became a military contractor. You actually started joining service on the board of Boeing, whose back you scratched for a very long time and then gave foreign multinational speeches like Hillary Clinton — and now you're a multimillionaire."

Haley fired back, "First of all, we weren't bankrupt when I left the UN. We're people of service. My husband is in the military, and I served our country as U.N. ambassador and governor. It may be bankrupt to him," she said of multimillionaire Ramaswamy, "but it certainly wasn't bankrupt to us."

Her campaign says the ad had already been produced before the debate took place and is part of the $10 million booking previously announced for television, radio and digital ads running in Iowa and New Hampshire.

On the campaign trail, Haley often cites her husband as one reason she's running for president. She suggests that her husband's military service helps inform what her foreign policy priorities would be if she's elected.

"I'm doing this for my husband and his military brothers and sisters. They need to know their sacrifice matters," she said. "They need to know that we love our country."

Along with the personal element, the ad also emphasizes foreign policy priorities for Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. in the Trump administration.

"You've got North Korea testing ballistic missiles. You've got China on the march, but make no mistake. None of that would have happened had we not had that debacle in Afghanistan," she said, referring to the rushed and chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, during the Biden administration.

"The idea that my husband and his military brothers and sisters who served there had to watch us leave Bagram Air Force Base in the middle of the night without telling our allies who stood shoulder to shoulder with us for decades because we asked them to be there. Think about what that said to our enemies. America has to get this right."

Some veterans attending Haley's town halls across New Hampshire appreciate her ability to empathize with them, since she's a military spouse.

"We were let down in Vietnam and we were let down in Afghanistan,  because we don't know how to stand up for what we believe in and follow through," said Robert Halamsha, a New Hampshire veteran who walked in as an undecided voter but left supporting Haley. "I see her as one who will not be on the wishy-washy side."

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