Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley vowed to stay in the Republican presidential race Tuesday night after polls closed in New Hampshire and the first-in-the-nation primary was called for President Trump within minutes. Trump won the Iowa caucus last week, with Haley placing third. Iowa second place finisher Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday and endorsed Trump, leaving the race between Trump and Haley.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addresses supporters after placing second to President Trump in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, screen image via WMUR-TV/YouTube, January 23, 2024.
Speaking to a supporters in Concord, Haley congratulated Trump on his victory, but then said, “This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina!”
Nikki Haley takes the stage in Concord: “They’re falling all over themselves, saying this race is over…New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not the last.”
“This race is far from over. There’s dozens of states left to go and the next one is my sweet state of SC.” pic.twitter.com/ZaDiVM3QAq
— Dylan Wells (@dylanewells) January 24, 2024
Haley has a robust fundraising schedule with 15 fundraisers set for the next month. The next GOP primary is in South Carolina on February 24. (The Nevada caucus is February 8.)
Haley said, “Well, I’m a fighter, and I’m scrappy. And now we’re the last one standing next to Donald Trump.”
Haley said her being in the race is not personal against Trump, but that it was “time to put the negativity and chaos behind us.”
After criticizing Biden and Congress, Haley turned her fire on Trump, blaming him for Republicans losing elections in 2018, 2020 and 2022, claiming Democrats want to run against Trump.
Haley said of Trump, “With Donald Trump you have one bout of chaos after another: this court case, that controversy, this tweet, that senior moment. You can’t fix Joe Biden’s chaos with Republican chaos.”
Haley brought up Trump recently saying “Nikki Haley” instead of “Nancy Pelosi” when talking about January 6, and mentioned her call for politicians over 75 to take a competency test. Haley called on Trump to debate her to prove his mental competency.
Haley said she is looking forward to campaigning in South Carolina. The most recent poll there (by a Trump pollster) shows Trump crushing Haley in her home state 68 percent to 28 percent. Trump has the endorsement of just about every major Republican office holder in South Carolina including Governor Henry McMaster, Senator Tim Scott (whom Haley appointed to the Senate in 2012), Senator Lindsey Graham and firebrand Rep. Nancy Mace.
Haley posted a clip from her speech attacking Trump, “Donald Trump’s only strategy is to lie about me and my record. That’s not going to work in South Carolina. The people of South Carolina know that I cut their taxes, passed one of the toughest immigration bills in the country, and moved thousands from welfare to work. #LetsGo”
Donald Trump’s only strategy is to lie about me and my record. That’s not going to work in South Carolina.
The people of South Carolina know that I cut their taxes, passed one of the toughest immigration bills in the country, and moved thousands from welfare to work. #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/OqhguleBd0
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 24, 2024
Video of Haley’s speech via WMUR-TV:
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