Nikki Haley vows to face “bullies” in 2024 candidacy against Donald Trump

Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, is the first Republican to challenge former President Donald Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.

Although she previously ruled out the prospect of running against Trump if he sought re-election, the former South Carolina governor has announced that she is running in a video posted on Tuesday morning and will kick off his campaign at an event in Charleston on Wednesday.

She cast herself as a moderate candidate over Trump, who could win in a general election, noting that she “doesn’t tolerate bullies” while refraining from making direct references to the former president. This could appeal to party elites who fear Trump will lose again to President Joe Biden and who are eager to get out of Trump’s MAGA policy after their chosen candidates vastly underperformed in the midterms.

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. That has to change,” says Haley in her announcement video. “It’s time for a new generation of leadership.”

She also suggests she would take a hardline stance against America’s enemies abroad, highlighting her foreign policy credentials.

“Some feel that our ideas are not only wrong, but also racist and evil. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have seen evil. In China, they commit genocide. In Iran they kill their own people for defying the government,” she says in the video.

If Haley wins, she would be the first woman and the first Asian-American to win the GOP’s nomination for president, adding to the list of firsts she has already won: the first female governor of South Carolina and the first Indian-American to serve in a state office there. .

Haley has sometimes been critical of Trump, criticizing his plan to build a border wall and his assertion that there were “very good people” on both sides of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, at which a counter-protester was killed. Still, she served in his administration as the top US diplomat from 2016 to 2018 and received a rare glowing review from Trump after his departure. Now that she is challenging her former boss, it’s unclear whether she can continue to toe the line between Trump critic and Trump ally.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley is focusing her presidential candidacy on foreign policy. She had one of the highest approval ratings of anyone in the Trump administration and was well respected by her peers on the UN Security Council, even as she championed controversial policy decisions such as Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Climate Accords of Paris and the UN Human Rights Council.

In an environment where most Americans cite government and inflation as the top issues facing the US, it’s unclear whether this foreign policy experience will resonate with voters. But Haley also has conservative credentials.

She won the governorship of South Carolina in 2011 with support from the conservative Tea Party wing of the Republican Party and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, moving on to toughen voter identification laws, opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state. and winning bipartisan praise for taking down the Confederate flag from the state capital after a gunman killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston in 2015. In her announcement video, she hit on typical conservative priorities, railing against the “socialist left” while calling for the border security and fiscal responsibility.

Haley, who boasts he has never lost an election, and other Republicans weighing the 2024 nominations face a tough primary ahead. Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce his candidacy, tied 33 to 33 percent for the top pick of Republican primary voters in a Monmouth University poll in February. By comparison, no other potential candidate received more than two percent support. But it’s early in the cycle, and those numbers could change as candidates consolidate donors and attract endorsements.

An expanding Republican camp could, in some ways, bolster Trump’s candidacy. The more candidates that announce, the greater the competition in the alternative to the Trump route. There is concern among many in the party who fear a Trump candidacy that his rivals will split the vote, allowing him to come out on top. That led some Republicans to call for the party to rally behind DeSantis.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin are among other possible candidates. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott could also announce soon, as he is scheduled to start a “listening tour” on Thursday in Charleston and attend a presidential forum in South Carolina alongside Haley next year. month.

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