Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina, announced Tuesday in a video that she will run for president in 2024, becoming the first major opponent to Donald Trump.
Our Washington establishment has failed us repeatedly. Haley, who is expected to deliver remarks at a campaign launch event in Charleston on Wednesday, said in the video that a new generation of leadership needs to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our borders, and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose.
She served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. She was recently told by the former president that he had endorsed her entry into the race, telling reporters she had spoken with him about launching a campaign and that he had told her, “You should do it.”
As the daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley spoke of growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina as feeling “different.” The railroad tracks divided the town by race, and I was a proud daughter of Indian immigrants. I wasn’t Black or White. I was different. It was my mother’s advice that we should not focus on the differences, but on the similarities in our lives. “Every day, my parents reminded me and my siblings that we were fortunate to live in America,” Haley said.
Formerly president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, she was elected to the South Carolina House in 2004. In 2010, she became the state’s first woman governor and was the youngest governor in the country when she took office in 2011. She resigned mid-term in order to become Trump’s ambassador to the UN, a position she held until the end of 2018.
After nine people were killed at a historically black church in Charleston in 2015, Haley highlighted her record as a twice-elected governor of South Carolina and her leadership in the state during her video announcement. Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds after the shooting. Her announcement also referenced her time as a UN ambassador, which she said had allowed her to “see evil.”
“Some look at our past as evidence that America’s founding principles are bad. They say the promise of freedom is just a made-up dream. Some think our ideas are not just wrong, but racist and evil. Nothing could be further from the truth,,” Haley said. “I have seen evil. In China they commit genocide. In Iran they murder their own people for challenging the government. And when a woman tells you about watching soldiers throw her baby into a fire, it puts things into perspective. Even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America.”
President Trump made an inaccurate reference to a statement Haley made in April 2021 when she said she “would not run if President Trump ran,” a sentiment she later walked back as she called for a new generation of leadership. While Trump said publicly Tuesday that he wished Haley luck, he has privately expressed annoyance that the woman he once tapped to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations would challenge him. But Trump has remained the most anxious about another challenger: DeSantis. In recent weeks, Trump has asked multiple advisers about creating a new disparaging nickname for his potenti.Some advisers have reminded Trump how it could benefit him if he faces multiple Republican challenges in the race. South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who was endorsed by Haley when Trump supported her Republican opponent, told CNN Tuesday that she was also worried about the size of the primary field. “I am concerned if there are too many people on the ballot by the time it gets to South Carolina it lessens the chances of anyone else coming out in this thing,” Mace said.Some advisers have reminded Trump how it could benefit him if he faces multiple Republican challengers in the race. South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, who was endorsed by Haley when Trump supported her Republican opponent, told CNN Tuesday that she was also worried about the number of candidates in the primary field. “I am concerned if there are too many people on the ballot by the time it gets to South Carolina it lessens the chances of anyone else coming out in this thing,” Mace said.