(Bloomberg) -- GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley took fresh jabs at party frontrunner Donald Trump’s legal troubles, age and recent gaffes on Sunday, hours after her surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live in which she mocked his refusal to debate her.
Most Read from Bloomberg
Haley, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, criticized the former president’s attempts to stymie an immigration bill being debated in Congress, and said his campaign is focused on portraying him as a victim instead of an advocate for the American people.
Trump is “absolutely playing politics” by telling Republican lawmakers to shoot down legislation that would strengthen security at the southern border to prevent President Joe Biden from seizing a victory on immigration.
“He shouldn’t be getting involved, telling Republicans that wait until the election because we don’t want this to help Biden win,” she said. “We can’t wait one more day.”
Read more: Trump Isn’t Calling the Shots on GOP Border Stance, Johnson Says
Haley has come under a series of attacks from Trump recently, including taunts about her gender and ethnicity. He mistakenly said Haley — then a private citizen — was in charge of security at the US Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, confusing her with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
During her CNN interview, Haley called Trump “flawed” on a personal level, while also taking aim at both his and Biden’s age.
“Why are we allowing ourselves to have two 80-year-olds who can’t serve eight years, who both are diminished, whether it’s in their character or in their mental capacity?”
Read more: Biden Racks Up Easy Win in South Carolina Democratic Primary
Haley remains a long-shot for the nomination after suffering defeats in the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Polls show her well behind in South Carolina, which holds its primary this month and where she served as governor.
Even still, several prominent Wall Street executives and deep-pocked Democratic donors, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, have donated to Haley, fueled in part by dismay at the prospect of a rematch between Trump and Biden in November.
Haley also said that Trump’s myriad legal issues should be a concern for voters, and his campaign continues to press the narrative that he’s a victim.
“We have got a country in disarray and a world on fire,” she said. “We need a president that’s going to give us eight years of focus and discipline, not one that’s going to be sitting there ranting about how he’s a victim and how this isn’t right and how this isn’t just.”
“He hasn’t once talked about the American people, and that’s the problem I have with all of this,” she added.
As Haley press ahead with her campaign, she made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live, teasing Trump for confusing her with Pelosi and over his refusals to meet his opponents on the debate stage.
“Are you doing OK, Donald? You might need a mental competency test,” she said to the show’s regular Trump impersonator, James Austin Johnson.
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
©2024 Bloomberg L.P.