Nikki Haley exits race but stops short of endorsing frontrunner Donald Trump

Source: BBC 

Nikki Haley is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race after winning just two Republican primaries.

“The time has now come to suspend my campaign,” she said at a news conference on Wednesday morning. 

Her departure will leave her rival Donald Trump as the only Republican left after he dominated Super Tuesday, racking up a series of wins.

Ms Haley did not endorse Mr Trump during her resignation speech on Wednesday. 

Instead, she congratulated him and said she “wish[ed] him well”. 

She said it is now up to Mr Trump “to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him”.

Though Ms Haley came nowhere near to securing the party’s nomination, she found substantial support among voters who had rejected the former president, and in particular college-educated voters. 

The question now will be whether her supporters, who made up a quarter of Republican primary voters in some states, will back Mr Trump. 

Ms Haley had pitched herself as a fresh start for the party and the chance to move past Mr Trump but only won Vermont and the District of Columbia in the primaries.

The former president even beat her in South Carolina where she was a popular governor.

Ms Haley said on Wednesday she stayed in the race because she had “wanted Americans to have their voices heard” and “I have done that”. 

“I have no regrets,” she said. 

During her brief speech, the former United Nations ambassador re-emphasised the policy issues she had often turned to during campaign stops, including the economy, the threat of socialism, and international conflict. 

“Our national debt will eventually crush our economy,” she said. “Our world is on fire because of America’s retreat. Standing by our allies in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan is a moral imperative.” 

On Super Tuesday Mr Trump swept Ms Haley by double-digit margins in several states, including Texas and California, the two states offering the largest number of delegates. 

Her departure puts Mr Trump on a clear path to win the Republican nomination this month unchallenged and a rematch with Joe Biden in November.

In a statement shortly after her announcement, Mr Biden attempted to woo the former South Carolina governor’s supporters. 

“It takes a lot of courage to run for President – that’s especially true in today’s Republican Party, where so few dare to speak the truth about Donald Trump,” he said of Ms Haley. “Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign.”

In a statement on Tuesday night, prior to her ending her run, her campaign said it was “honoured” she had become the first Republican woman to win two presidential primary contests. 

“There remains a large bloc of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump.

“That is not the unity our party needs for success. Addressing those voters’ concerns will make the Republican Party and America better.”

Ms Haley has also not yet spoken about her plans for after the primary race, even as her loss to Mr Trump to be the Republican standard-bearer became all but certain.

During her speech on Wednesday, Ms Haley said she was looking forward to life as a “private citizen”. 

“Although I am no longer a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in,” she said. 

Ms Haley had presented herself as a chance for the country to move on from the “chaos” of her former boss, who made her ambassador to the UN. 

In the final weeks of her campaign she levelled increasingly forceful attacks at Mr Trump, taking aim at his age and mental acuity, and criticising him for “buddying up” to dictators like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.


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