Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her presidential campaign for 2024 on Tuesday, making her former President Donald Trump’s first Republican opponent.
Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations for two years, is set to make her official announcement in Charleston on Wednesday.
“It’s time for a new generation of leaders to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and fortify our country, pride, and purpose.” In her video announcement, Haley stated.
Haley charged that the “socialist left” saw “an opportunity to rewrite history.”
“China and Russia are gaining ground. They all believe we can be bullied and kicked around “Haley stated. “You should know something about me: I don’t tolerate bullies. And kicking back hurts them even more if you’re wearing heels. “My name is Nikki Haley, and I am running for President.”
Haley teased a potential presidential bid last month, saying in a Fox News interview: “Yes, we need to go in a new direction. And am I qualified to be that leader? Yes, I believe I am capable of being that leader.”
Following her presidential bid announcement, Haley is expected to travel to well-trodden ground for presidential candidates, including three days of town hall-style campaign stops in New Hampshire and several more days in Iowa, multiple sources confirmed to NBC News this month.
Following her visit to New Hampshire, Haley will travel to Iowa from February 20 to February 23, according to an NBC News source familiar with her plans. In November, Trump announced his third presidential bid. Last month, the former president began his campaign with stops in New Hampshire and Haley’s home state of South Carolina.
When she ran for governor at the age of 38, Haley was heralded as the next generation of Republicans, and she won as part of a wave of anti-establishment tea party candidates who swept into office in 2010.
Her personal history — growing up in rural Bamberg, South Carolina, as the daughter of Indian immigrants, and facing racism at a young age — lends Haley credibility on issues such as race and gender, which Republicans have struggled to engage voters on.
She was harshly critical of Trump during his first presidential campaign, warning that his temper could spark a world war at one point, but she accepted a position in his Cabinet shortly after his election.
Her UN ambassadorship boosted her foreign policy credentials at a time when the US was sanctioning North Korea and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. She stepped down after two years, just as a government watchdog demanded an investigation into whether she violated federal ethics regulations by accepting gifts as ambassador.
Since leaving the Trump administration, Haley has occasionally criticised but also frequently praised the former president.
In the aftermath of the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, Haley issued a stern condemnation of Trump. In a 2021 interview with Politico, she said she was “disgusted” by Trump’s attacks on former Vice President Mike Pence, who refused to push Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in the run-up to the riot.
Haley, on the other hand, appeared to reconsider her former boss months after he left office, telling reporters in April 2021 that if Trump ran again, she would not run.
“That’s something we’ll talk about at some point if that decision has to be made,” she added.
When asked when she last spoke with the president, she quickly responded that it was before the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
In response to Haley’s campaign announcement, Trump issued a statement Tuesday through his campaign spokesperson wishing her luck.
“Even though Nikki Haley stated, ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president, the best president in my lifetime,’ I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants. “I wish her luck!” he exclaimed.
South Carolina has long been known as one of the most important early primary states. In every election over the last four decades, the winner of the state’s Republican primary has gone on to win the party’s presidential nomination.
As the 2024 election season approaches, state political leaders told NBC News that they are preparing to choose between two “favourite children,” a former president who has already carried the state in a hotly contested primary and potentially others.
In addition to Haley’s entry into the GOP presidential primary in 2024, Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, appears to be putting together his own presidential campaign infrastructure. Scott will speak to the Charleston County GOP on Thursday before embarking on a listening tour that will take him to Iowa, the first state on the Republican calendar in 2024.
Haley ran for public office for the first time in 2004, defeating a long-serving incumbent for a seat in the state House. In a 2012 interview, Haley credited Hillary Clinton for her decision to run for office.
“I actually ran for office because of Hillary Clinton,” she explained. “She said that when it comes to women running for office, everyone will tell you why you shouldn’t, but that’s exactly why we need you to, and I walked out thinking, ‘That’s it. ‘I’m running for public office.'”