Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and a Republican, said in a video on Tuesday that she will run for president in 2024, making her the first significant challenger to former President Donald Trump for the GOP candidature.
“The establishment in Washington has let us down time and time again. In the video, Haley, who will make remarks at a campaign kickoff event in Charleston on Wednesday, said that it was time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal restraint, protect our border, and strengthen our nation, our pride, and our purpose.
Under Trump, Haley represented the United States as ambassador to the UN. The former president, who declared his candidature last year, recently appeared to endorse her entry into the race. He told reporters that when she phoned him to discuss launching a campaign, he advised her to do so.
Haley, an immigrant’s daughter from India, began the video by discussing how she felt “different” as a child growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina.
“The community was split by race at the railroad rails. I felt happy to be the daughter of immigrants from India. Not White, not Black. I was unique. But my mother always told me that it was my responsibility to look at the similarities rather than the differences. Every day, my parents would tell my brothers and I how fortunate we were to live in America, Haley said.
Haley would be the first Asian American and female Republican presidential nominee if she prevails in the primary.
She was initially elected to the South Carolina House in 2004 and served as the organization’s previous president. She was elected as the state’s first female governor six years later in 2010, and when she assumed office in 2011, she was the youngest governor in the country. She left her position in the midst of her second term to serve as Trump’s representative to the UN, where she remained till the end of 2018.
Haley praised her record as a twice-elected governor of South Carolina during her video announcement, as well as her state’s response after nine people were murdered and killed in a historically Black church in Charleston in 2015. Haley demanded that the Confederate flag be taken down from the Statehouse grounds after the shooting.
In her statement, she made further use of her background in international affairs and made reference to her time serving as UN ambassador, claiming to have “seen evil.”
Some believe that our history proves the flaws in America’s basic ideas. They claim that the promise of freedom is unreal. Some believe that our beliefs are not just incorrect but also racist and nasty. Nothing could be more false, according to Haley. “I’ve witnessed wickedness. Genocide is carried out in China. In Iran, people are killed when they disagree with the authorities. And it puts things into perspective when a mom tells you about witnessing troops throw her infant into a fire. We are fortunate to live in the United States, even on our worst days.
Some people recognise America’s fragility, according to Haley. “The socialist left sees a chance to change the course of history. Russia and China are advancing. They all believe that we are weak and susceptible to abuse. I don’t tolerate bullies, and when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels, so you should be aware of that about me.
Other potential GOP contenders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who are all rumoured to be considering 2024 runs and could also sway conservative Republicans looking to move past Trump, will likely give Haley stiff competition in this lane. A large Republican primary field, according to some Republican strategists, would benefit Trump, who still has a sizable following among the party base, and may fragment the vote, allowing the former president to win the nomination.
Haley has frequently tried to strike a delicate balance between supporting Trump and separating herself from him just enough to win over his more moderate detractors. In contrast to other former Trump employees who have openly argued with their former boss, she departed the administration of Donald Trump in 2018 on good terms.
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Trump responded to Haley’s declaration, stating, “Even though Nikki Haley said, ‘I would never run against my President, he was a fantastic President, he was the finest President in my lifetime,’ I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants to do. I hope she does well.
When Haley indicated in April 2021 that she “would not run if President Trump ran,” she subsequently took that stance back and urged for a new generation of leaders. Trump was incorrectly quoting that statement.
Even while Trump officially wished Haley success on Tuesday, he has privately voiced anger that the woman he once chose to be his ambassador to the UN would oppose him. However, Trump has continued to worry the most about a different rival: DeSantis. Trump has privately suggested that instead of calling DeSantis “Ron Desanctimonious” in recent weeks, he instead focus on the candidate’s weight. Trump has privately approached many aides about coming up with a new derogatory moniker for his future competitor.
Some of Trump’s advisors have reminded him how it would assist him if he confronts more Republican challengers in the election as he has complained over Haley’s candidature.
Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who received Haley’s backing when Trump backed her Republican opponent, expressed concern about the size of the primary field to CNN on Tuesday.
“I’m worried that if there are too many candidates on the ballot by the time South Carolina rolls around, it will make it less likely that anyone else would vote in this,” Mace said.