Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked off his appearance at a CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall on Thursday with a name-dropping dig at opponent Nikki Haley.
During the live town hall event in Des Moines, Iowa, DeSantis walked on to the stage and handed moderator Kaitlan Collins a jersey of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark, alluding to a recent flub from Haley in which she mixed up the two names.
“We’re excited to see the Lady Hawkeyes team. What a great coach they have. Caitlin Collins is phenomenal,” the former South Carolina governor said last week at a pre-game event, clearly meaning Clark, the Des Moines Register reported.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Collins responded to Haley’s comment: “I can assure you her free-throw percentage is much better than mine.”
DeSantis, whose CNN town hall preceded Haley’s, didn’t miss taking the easy shot.
“I heard the other day someone say Kaitlan Collins had some basketball skills. Now, I don’t know if that was a mistake or not, but I know in Iowa they have a Caitlin Clark, so I just wanted to give you this as a memento,” DeSantis said Thursday as he unfolded the jersey and handed it to Collins.
DeSantis and Haley were scheduled for back-to-back CNN town halls on Thursday evening, just more than a week before the Iowa caucuses.