Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign released its first ad of the Republican primary race on Thursday, a spot that calls for “a new generation of conservative leadership” and presents her as a steady hand in the face of domestic and international threats.
The ad, titled “Moral Clarity,” comes as Ms. Haley, the former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, aims to build on her momentum in the polls ahead of the first nominating contests in January. Former President Donald J. Trump, however, maintains a wide lead in surveys.
The 30-second ad, part of a $10 million purchase in Iowa and New Hampshire, will air on broadcast and cable TV starting Friday. A super PAC backing Ms. Haley, SFA Fund Inc., has spent more than $20 million on television advertising time, including reserved spots well into January.
Ms. Haley narrates the ad, and she does not mention Mr. Trump or President Biden. She twice refers to “chaos” — “chaos on our streets and college campuses,” and a need to leave behind “the chaos of the past,” reflecting concerns about Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump that have animated centrist Republicans.
To drive home the point, the ad shows security-camera footage of hooded figures shooting guns on a street as well as images of pro-Palestinian protests and American flags being burned.
Buoyed by strong debate performances, Ms. Haley has emerged in recent weeks as a challenger to Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida for the No. 2 spot in the primary field as both seek to dislodge Mr. Trump. She has largely sought to stake out nuanced positions on domestic issues like abortion (which she does not mention in the ad), while taking a hard-line stance on foreign policy, particularly China, Russia and Iran (which she does mention).
Mr. Trump’s campaign has told supporters it expects to air its first broadcast TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire starting on Friday. He has previously focused on national ads attacking Mr. Biden.