New Haley Ad to Play Up Her Foreign Policy Expertise, and Subtly Hit Trump

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Nikki Haley’s closing argument to New Hampshire primary voters will include a three-minute ad featuring the emotional story of the mother of a college student who died shortly after North Korea released him from captivity in 2017, and whose cause Ms. Haley championed as United Nations ambassador.

The ad, which the Haley campaign said would run across the state on Monday, is narrated by Cynthia Warmbier, the mother of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia honors student from Cincinnati who was imprisoned in North Korea after visiting the country on an organized tour.

“He was taken hostage, tortured and murdered by the government of North Korea,” Ms. Warmbier, who spoke at Ms. Haley’s campaign kickoff event last year, is shown telling the crowd there. “When we were begging the Obama administration for help, they told us to be quiet and be patient. Nikki told us the opposite. She told me it’s OK to be afraid, like I am now, but I had to push through the fear.”

Ms. Warmbier describes Ms. Haley as a fighter on the world stage and a leader with strength and compassion.

The ad appears geared toward attracting, among other voters, the suburban women who have left the Republican Party in recent years and are a key constituency in New Hampshire and beyond.

In portraying North Korea as evil and responsible for the young man’s death, the ad may also remind voters of former President Donald J. Trump’s frequent boasts about his friendly relationship with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.

Ms. Haley has portrayed Mr. Trump as a destabilizing force in international relations who cozied up to dictators and terrorists.

Ms. Warmbier and her son’s story played a recurring bit part in the Trump administration.

During Mr. Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address, Ms. Warmbier and her husband, Fred, stood and wept as Mr. Trump described the “menace” of North Korea and paid tribute to Otto.

It was later reported that North Korea had billed the United States $2 million for Otto’s medical treatment before releasing him, though Mr. Trump denied paying the country anything.

The Warmbiers later released a blistering statement after Mr. Trump met with the North Korean leader and said he believed Mr. Kim’s claim that he did not know what happened to Mr. Warmbier while he was in captivity.

“Some really bad things happened to Otto — some really, really bad things. But he tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word,” Mr. Trump said.

But Ms. Haley said otherwise: “Americans know the cruelty that was placed on Otto Warmbier by the North Korean regime,” she wrote on social media.

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New Haley Ad to Play Up Her Foreign Policy Expertise, and Subtly Hit Trump

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