Nikki Haley Still Won't Drop Out Of 2024 Race After South Carolina Primary

Donald Trump's only real challenger is refusing to give up hope, to his increasing frustration.

Nikki Haley once again refused to end her bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday, even after an apparent loss to former President Donald Trump in South Carolina’s primary election.

Haley was elected governor of the Southern state twice, leaving in 2017 to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration.

She has since become one of his biggest critics in the GOP.

“I don’t believe Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden,” she said in a speech Saturday at her election night watch party at Charleston Place, a swanky hotel in downtown Charleston not far from Haley’s Kiawah Island home. She addressed the upbeat crowd at 8:30, an hour and a half after polls closed and the race was, immediately, called for Trump.

Her comments echoed those from a speech she gave just days prior that was cryptically touted as an address on “the state of the presidential race,” leading to some speculation about the state of her campaign.

“Despite being a de facto incumbent, Donald Trump lost 49% of the vote in Iowa. In New Hampshire, Trump lost 46% of the vote. That’s not good. We’re talking about almost half of our voters,” Haley said Tuesday.

“What does it say about an incumbent who’s losing nearly half of his party? It spells disaster in November.”

Haley has repeatedly pledged to stay in, at least through Super Tuesday, despite underperforming in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

“I said earlier this week, that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president,” she said Saturday. “I’m a woman of my word.”

“South Carolina has spoken. We’re the fourth state to do so. In the next 10 days, another 21 states and territories will speak. They have the right to a real choice, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate. And I have a duty to give them that choice,” she added.

While Trump said last month that he did not care whether Haley stayed in the race or dropped out, he has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with her determination.

Trump launched a bizarre attack on Haley last week over her husband’s absence from public events, despite the fact he is currently deployed overseas in support of the U.S. Africa Command. He called her “stupid” and a “birdbrain” on his social media platform, Truth Social. His campaign reportedly sent her a corresponding birdcage. A campaign spokesperson said, obscenely, that Haley would “drop down to kiss ass when she quits, like she always does.”

Haley, meanwhile, has doubled down on Trump over his many legal woes, including judgments against him totaling around half a billion dollars so far.

She maintains that support for Trump is not quite as strong as he claims, particularly among other top Republican officials.

“Many of the same politicians who publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be,” Haley said Tuesday.

She added: “I feel no need to kiss the ring. I have no fear of Trump’s retribution.”

Haley’s resilience may also be rewarded in the event Trump becomes a convicted felon before the November election, although it is highly unclear what would happen, legally, in that scenario.

Her guests at the election night party — some of whom had traveled from out of state — seemed to be optimistic about Haley staying in the race.
“I want her to stay strong and keep going and she’s got a great message and it’s the truth,” said a Charleston woman who identified herself only as Beth. “She has so much integrity and energy and she’s got international experience, domestic experience. She’s what we need.”
But asked if she could vote for Trump in November, Beth, who is a 63-year old executive assistant, said, “Well, right now I’m for Nikki, but I am a Republican.”

Popular in the Community


What's Hot