Republican Nikki Haley to decide on presidential bid over Christmas holidays

‘If we decide to get into it, we’ll put 1,000% in,’ says former South Carolina governor and Trump’s US ambassador to the UN

The former Republican South Carolina governor and Donald Trump’s US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will use the coming Christmas holidays to decide whether to launch a run for the White House in 2024.

Speaking in her home state and at her alma mater, Clemson University, on Tuesday, Haley said: “We are taking the holidays to kind of look at what the situation is. If we decide to get into it, we’ll put 1,000% in, and we’ll finish it.”

Haley, who made a relatively dignified exit from the Trump administration by resigning as UN ambassador in 2018, previously said she would not run for president if Trump did.

Trump is running again, having announced his third consecutive candidacy in Florida earlier this month. But senior Republicans now increasingly see Trump as damaged goods, in light of a poor midterms performance in which his endorsed candidates struggled; the likelihood of indictment in a number of criminal cases; and amid fallout from his recent decision to have dinner with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and antisemite.

Haley, whose parents were Indian, would be the first woman to announce a run for the Republican nomination in two years’ time.

Earlier this month, at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, she said: “A lot of people have asked if I’m going to run for president. Now that the midterms are over, I’ll look at it in a serious way, and I’ll have more to say soon.

“For now, I’ll say this. I’ve won tough primaries and tough general elections. I’ve been the underdog every single time. When people underestimate me, it’s always fun. But I’ve never lost an election. And I’m not going to start now.”

Polling suggests that if Haley wants to maintain that record, she may be best advised not to run.

Trump and a current southern governor, Ron DeSantis of Florida, dominate surveys of Republican voters.

Though senior party figures including Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, and his second secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, have made their ambitions clear, DeSantis is Trump’s only close rival in such polls.

Haley campaigned for Republican candidates in the midterm elections, including the Trump endorsee Herschel Walker, whose Senate contest against the Democrat Raphael Warnock remains to be decided.

At Clemson, Haley dodged a chance to blame Trump for the party’s poor performance, in which it failed to take the Senate and won the House by only a narrow margin.

The midterms flop, she said, was “no one person’s fault”, adding that Republicans should “look in the mirror and realise that we have some work to do, and we’ve got some soul-searching to do”.

Republicans, Haley said, “fought each other and the Democrats. And so when you have that kind of chaos, what did that tell the American people? That told the American people that we were not unified.”

Speaking ahead of possible entry into a presidential primary likely to be many sided and viciously fought, not least by Trump himself, she added: “The American people don’t want a party that’s in chaos.”

Contributor

Martin Pengelly in New York

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Nikki Haley plotted with Kushner and Ivanka to be Trump vice-president, Pompeo book says
In book aimed at 2024 run, ex-secretary of state also says Trump asked him to be secretary of defense at same time, a ‘nutty idea’

Martin Pengelly in New York

19, Jan, 2023 @7:00 AM

Article image
Nikki Haley accuses Pompeo of ‘lies and gossip to sell book’ after vice-president plot claim
Former UN ambassador hits back at former secretary of state as jockeying for Republican presidential primary hots up

Martin Pengelly in New York

20, Jan, 2023 @6:00 AM

Article image
As Trump’s star wanes, rivals signal presidential nomination campaigns
Republicans vying for the party’s nomination have taken the ex-president’s midterm losses as a sign for them to step up

Edward Helmore

27, Dec, 2022 @7:30 AM

Article image
DeSantis and Pence lead Republican wave – of presidential campaign books
The GOP flopped in the midterms but its White House hopefuls still hope to find readers – and conservative group bulk-buyers

Martin Pengelly

04, Dec, 2022 @7:00 AM

Article image
Nikki Haley: leaders should release tax returns and prove mental competency
Comments by Republican believed to hold presidential ambitions questioning Biden’s mental health could also apply to Trump

Martin Pengelly

06, Nov, 2021 @1:38 PM

Article image
Nikki Haley positions herself to lead the post-Trump Republican party
The ex-US ambassador to the UN is one of the few Trump officials to leave on good terms and has diligently built up a national profile

Daniel Strauss in Washington

10, Jul, 2020 @10:00 AM

Article image
Never Give an Inch review: Mike Pompeo as ‘heat-seeking missile for Trump’s ass’
The former secretary of state wants to be president. His vicious memoir will sell, but he may not find buyers at the polls

Lloyd Green

29, Jan, 2023 @7:00 AM

Article image
Republican predicts Trump won’t be party’s presidential nominee in 2024
Senator Bill Cassidy points to seats lost in House and Senate during Trump presidency and says ‘if we idolize one person, we will lose’

Joanna Walters in New York

28, Feb, 2021 @4:32 PM

Article image
Republican moderate refuses to disown Trump over constitution threat
Dave Joyce of Ohio, chair of the Republican Governance Group, says he will vote for Trump if he is nominee in 2024

Martin Pengelly in New York

05, Dec, 2022 @5:01 AM

Article image
What does Republicans’ break from the presidential debate commission mean?
The US presidential debate has been thrown into doubt – and the move is proof of the RNC’s eagerness to do Trump’s bidding

David Smith in Washington

16, Apr, 2022 @7:00 AM