Nikki Haley announces GOP presidential campaign, challenging Trump for 2024 nomination
Haley touted her role as South Carolina governor and foreign policy experience, but didn’t mention Trump directly in her kickoff video
Nikki Haley announced her campaign for president Tuesday via a video after months of speculation that she would join the race. Haley is a former governor of South Carolina and served as the U.N. ambassador under former President Donald Trump. Her announcement makes her only the second GOP candidate to officially declare a campaign for the presidency and the first to challenge Trump.
Haley, 51, called for a “new generation of leadership” in her video, drawing attention to the advanced age of President Joe Biden, who is 80, and 76-year-old Trump as well. Haley appeared to echo this message from last week’s official GOP response to the State of the Union given by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Get excited! Time for a new generation.— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 14, 2023
Let’s do this! 👊 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BD5k4WY1CP
Haley never mentions Trump in the video but does emphasize her foreign policy experience, referencing times she stood up to China and Russia at the U.N. “You should know this about me, I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” she said.
As a former state executive, she touted her accomplishments as governor to cut taxes, establish family-friendly policies and help heal racial divides. She contrasts this with what she called Biden’s “abysmal” record. “But this shouldn’t come as a surprise,” Haley said. “The Washington establishment has failed us over and over again.”
She said her campaign will call for a rediscovery of “fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.” Haley also touched on culture war issues, saying the “socialist left” wants to rewrite history, referencing The New York Times’ 1619 project in the video.
As of midday Tuesday, Trump hadn’t commented on Haley’s announcement that she would challenge him for the GOP presidential nomination. Political analysts suspect her early announcement is a strategic play to increase her polling numbers and to help her raise funds before the field fills with other candidates.
Other potential challengers are expected to join the race but it might not be for a number of months, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who is Trump’s biggest competitor according to the latest polls.
At a press conference in Florida Tuesday morning, a reporter asked DeSantis about Haley’s announcement and if he plans to follow her lead and announce his campaign soon.
DeSantis responded, while laughing, “Wouldn’t you like to know.”