As conservatives gather for their annual conference known as CPAC, Nikki Haley will not be among the possible 2024 GOP contenders in attendance, with speculation that her rivalry with Donald Trump being a contributing factor.
According to one report, Haley is “isolated” after she attacked President Trump for the January 6 Capitol riot.
This comes in the aftermath last week of the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. asking for a meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Her request was turned down.
Haley has a long history of attacking President Trump.
Nikki Haley has a history of comments critical of Trump, so it is not surprising that he would have turned down a meeting.
After the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and just prior to Tump’s second impeachment, in an interview Haley said of Republicans that “We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t ever let that happen again.”
In the same interview, she questioned “any political viability” he was going to have going forward. Haley said she did not believe Trump would run in 2024. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
Haley’s comments on Donald Trump go back much farther than January of this year.
In 2016, she gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address, when she stated, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.”
In an interview the next day on NBC’s Today Show, Haley said that she was specifying then front-runner for the Republican nomination Donald Trump, was one of the “angry voices” she was referring to.
Haley invoked the Jun 2015 shooting of nine black parishioners in a Charleston church when she stated that she thinks Trump’s rhetoric is “dangerous.” She went on to say, “I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen.”
She even went on to repeat the lie that Trump had not disavowed the KKK.
“I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK,” Haley said. “That is not a part of our party, that is not who we want as president. We will allow not allow that in our country.”
Even PolitiFact acknowledges that Trump has disavowed white supremacists for decades.
In February of 2016, then South Carolina Governor Haley sounded every bit like a Never-Trumper.
Speaking to CNN affiliate WIS Television in Columbia, she said that candidate Donald Trump represented “everything a Governor doesn’t want in a president.”
According to a report from The Hill, a GOP source says that while Haley has been trying to position herself for a run for the White House, she is having difficulty in connecting with Trump supporters.
The source went on to say that “Haley has never understood the President and seems to not understand where the base of the Party is.”
The Hill also quoted Alex Conant, a GOP consultant and former advisor to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in reference to Haley’s comments:
“Trump might run again, so you have to treat him as a potential competitor. But even if he doesn’t, he wants influence over who the party picks, and loyalty is what he values more than anything else. So it’s hard to build your own identity separate from him while maintaining loyalty and his support.”
The fact that she may be seen as a flip-flopper may harm her presidential hopes. A week after the riot, the Charleston CBS affiliate reported that while Haley criticized the President for the riot, she “called for people to ‘give the man a break’.”
She also stated she did not think there was “basis for impeachment.”
As usual, this year’s CPAC gathering will draw other potential presidential hopefuls. Some other names that have been mentioned include Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is also scheduled to speak, and has even been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate recently by Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
Most of those mentioned have been strong supporters of Trump, not only of the direction he would take the Republican Party, but his “America First” platform.
Nikki Haley’s comments for and against Donald Trump may separate her from other would-be Republican candidates, and the optics may say that she may prove the sources right, that she is indeed out of touch with the base of the party.
Politco reported that Lee Bright, a former colleague of Haley and an “archconservative in the statehouse” in South Carolina, might have sounded the alarm about Haley.
“Nikki is willing to do whatever she needs to do and be whoever she needs to be,” he said.
He went on to add more serious accusations, “The fact is, she doesn’t have a core. Adapting to the electorate is what keeps you around in politics, and she’s done it more effectively than anyone I’ve ever seen. She went from being an enemy of the establishment to being the face of the establishment.”
Nikki Haley’s first decision about a White House run should be which part of the Republican Party she supports.
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