CHARLESTON, SC – Republican Nikki Haley Plans to officially announce her 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday, banking on her breakthrough career as a woman and black man, who ruled in the heart of the South before representing the US on the world stage, to overcome ingrained support for her former boss. former president donald trump.
Haley, former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations, posted a video declared her candidacy on Tuesday. Wednesday’s event in the historic coastal city of Charleston marks the first time she has made a public appearance as a declared White House hope. It could also be a show of strength in her home state, which is hosting a critical early primary affecting the fate of the GOP nomination.
The announcement makes Haley the first major Republican to officially challenge Trump, but she won’t be the last. Florida governor Ron DeSantisformer vice president Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are among those expected to launch campaigns in the coming months. Haley’s fellow South Carolina native, Sen. Tim Scott is also considering an offer from the White House.
As the presidential primary comes into focus, the biggest question is whether anyone in this arena will be able to replace Trump at the helm of a party he transformed with his first campaign in 2016. He remains popular with a broad spectrum of voters who will have significant influence in the primary, although some party officials have blamed him for the GOP’s lackluster performance in last year’s midterm elections. Just like 2016a crowded field could work in Trump’s favor, allowing him to march to the nomination while his opponents split support among themselves.
In her announcement video, Haley, 51, didn’t refer directly to the 76-year-old former president, instead saying it was “time for a new generation of leaders.”
According to a, there seems to be an openness to fresh faces among Republicans new survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In an open-ended question asking Republicans to choose who to lead their party, a majority of Republicans chose neither Trump nor DeSantis, who are said to be the former president’s main rivals. But neither did they have a clear alternative in mind.
Eleven other politicians, including Haley, were named their favorite leader by just 1% of Republicans.
Haley will likely excel in the GOP space in part because of her bio emphasis. In the video released Tuesday, she spoke of growing up in a small South Carolina town as the daughter of Indian immigrants who faced racial taunts. Despite growing up feeling “different,” Haley insisted America was not a racist country.
This argument could resonate with Republican voters as many in the party seek to block or change the way the issue of systemic racism is being addressed taught in schools and universities.
Haley also hit Republicans with some harsh words, saying in the video that the party has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections and it should lead to a new approach. She highlighted her two successful elections as South Carolina governor, beginning with the 2010 victory that made her the state’s first and a minority governor — along with the nation’s youngest at 38.
She noted, at least in part, the defining moment of her governorship: the 2015 killing of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church by an avowed white supremacist pictured with Confederate flags.
For years, Haley had defied calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, even calling a rival’s push for its removal a desperate stunt. But after the massacre, and with the support of other leading Republicans, Haley lobbied for legislation to remove the flag. It came down less than a month after the murders.
The video showed Haley appearing at the church but made no mention of her work removing the flag.
And after the US shot down several aerial objects in recent weeks, including a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, Haley is likely to position himself as foreign policy savvy. Her video included images of her as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, warning that “China and Russia are on the rise” and that they think America can be “bullied” and “kicked about.”
“You should know that about me,” Haley said. “I don’t condone bullies. And when you lean back, it hurts them more when you wear heels.”
Haley’s campaign is a reversal from two years ago when she said she would not challenge Trump for president in 2024. But she changed her mind in recent months, citing the country’s economic woes among other things.
In a statement, Trump said he wished her “luck.”
“Even though Nikki Haley said, ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president, the best president of my life,’ I told her to follow her heart and do what she wants to do,” Trump said. “I wish her luck!”
Price reported from New York.
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