Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she will seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, pitting her against once-boss Donald Trump. Trump also seeks to win his position as Commander in Chief back in the election.
“I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president,” said Haley in a video sent out via email by her team.
Haley, who also served as former governor of South Carolina, will outline her campaign plans during a Wednesday speech in Charleston, South Carolina.
Haley became Trump’s first challenger in a field of Republicans expected to grow in the upcoming weeks and months. The former governor’s announcement signaled that the GOP nomination race is gaining momentum.
Several other high-profile Republicans possibly looking at a 2024 run include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, and U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, among others.
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership — to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose,” said Haley in her video.
Haley also harked back to her past foreign policy experience, saying, “China and Russia are on the march. They all think we can be bullied, kicked. You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies. And when kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”
After Haley’s announcement, Trump referred to her on his Truth Social platform, noting the former governor had previously said she would support Trump in the 2024 election. “Nikki has to follow her heart, not her honor. She should definitely run!” Trump wrote.
South Carolina is expected to host one of the first GOP nominating primaries in 2024 and will play a critical role in choosing the eventual candidate.
A day following Haley’s event, Senator Scott is set to kick off a “listening tour focused on Faith in America” in Charleston, South Carolina. He will then head to Iowa, another crucial early-voting state.
Haley has a reputation as a solid conservative
Nikki Haley is the daughter of two immigrants from India who successfully ran a clothing store in a rural part of South Carolina. She gained a reputation as a solid conservative with the ability to address issues of race and gender in a more believable fashion than many of her peers.
The former S.C. governor pitched herself as a consistent defender of American interests overseas after serving as the United States ambassador to the U.N. under President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018. During that time, the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed under former President Barack Obama and was highly unpopular among the GOP.
One associate of Haley said she chose to kick off her campaign this early to shake up the race and grab voters’ attention.
Many crucial Republican elected officials and donors in South Carolina have been looking for different options for Trump amid concerns about his electability.
Several leading Republicans, including Scott and Haley, opted to skip a campaign appearance by Trump in Columbia last month. The event was intended to showcase his support in the state.
One of Haley’s significant challenges will be determining a consistent message. She has distanced herself from the former president several times, only to soften her harsh rhetoric later, saying he has a crucial role to play in the GOP.