Photo of an elephant covered in white clay by Patrick Duvanel on Unsplash

May 18, 2023: Iowa – GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley has a message for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R): “Welcome to the race. We’ve been waiting.” (The Hill)

Haley, in an exclusive on-camera interview with The Hill at a campaign stop on the banks of the Mississippi, added, “I’m glad that he’s going to be out there, because I want the American people to see who they’re choosing from.”

Haley was reading to the news report that the Florida governor would finally officially enter the presidential race next week.

Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, has been running for president since February and has at times jabbed other potential candidates for their reticence to enter the race.

Haley has one similarity with DeSantis, however – she too is willing to plunge into the most contentious battles in the culture wars…

…The only female candidate in the race, Haley has staked out a more nuanced position than some on abortion. While she signed a 20-week ban on abortion as governor of South Carolina, she does not currently back a federal ban.

Pressed on whether she would back such a ban if it were politically possible, she contended: “It’s not realistic.”

“The idea that a Republican president is going to go ban all abortions is not true,” she said. “So I think we have to be honest with the American people, not scare them, but tell the truth and let them know exactly what is truly debatable and what’s not.”…

May 15, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s husband will set out on a deployment with the South Caroline National Guard to Africa in the coming weeks, according to a person familiar with the deployment. (The Hill)

…Michael Haley’s deployment with the State National Guard will be in support of the United States Africa Command. He will likely remain on deployment through the spring of 2024…

…Michael Haley is currently a major in the South Carolina National Guard. He joined the military branch in 2006 as an officer. In 2023, he deployed to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

His deployment comes as Nikki Haley continues to barnstorm through early presidential nominating states as part of her presidential campaign. Haley will attend Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-Iowa) annual Roast and Ride event with a number of other Republican presidential hopefuls Saturday and will participate in a CNN town hall Sunday…

June 17, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley wished her husband farewell at a ceremony Saturday as he starts a yearlong deployment with the South Carolina Army National Guard. (The Hill)

Maj. Michael Haley, the husband of the former ambassador to the United Nations, is being sent as a staff officer with the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in the Horn of Africa.

The ceremony was for about 200 soldiers at The Citadel, a military college in Charleston.

“He’s always been my rock,” Haley said after the ceremony. “We have both lived a life of service, and so when he goes off to deploy, my support is completely with him. If I happen to be running for president, his support is completely with me.”…

…Nikki and Michael Haley have been married for 26 years. He has consistently been present at rallies she has held so far during her candidacy. The campaign has said their son, Nalin, will take over the role Michael has served…

July 24, 2023: GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she would support former President Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee for president in 2024. (The Hill)

But she also said she doesn’t believe the former president can win a general election.

Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday that the country needs a “new generational leader” but added she would back Trump if he wins the primary.

“I would support him because I am not going to have a President Kamala Harris. We can’t afford that. That is not going to happen,” she said.

Haley has previously sharply criticized President Biden’s age, arguing that he would not live to be 86 years old, which would be his age at the end of a second term. She has said reelecting Biden could lead to Harris becoming president…

July 27, 2023: GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley is pushing back against fellow White House hopeful Chris Christie (R) claims that she and some other candidates do not call out former President Trump enough. (The Hill)

“Well, I’m not obsessively anti-Trump like he is,” Haley said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “I talk about policies,” she said, pointing to times she has “disagreed with Trump” including over Jan. 6, government spending, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Christie, a former governor of New Jersey, has criticized 2024 Republican presidential candidates on multiple occasions for not taking aim at the former president. In April, Christie compared the candidates’ treatment of Trump to that of Lord Voldemort, a character from the Harry Potter series who is so feared people do not speak his name…

August 31, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley reiterated her call for competency tests for older politicians after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared to enter a catatonic state. (MEDIAITE)

McConnell froze on Wednesday after a reporter asked if he is running for reelection in 2026…

…Appearing on Thursday’s edition of The Story on Fox News, Haley offered her reaction.

“It’s sad,” she said. “No one should feel good about seeing that any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening or seeing Joe Biden’s decline. What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country. I mean, Mitch McConnell has done some great things and he deserves credit. But you have to know when to leave.”

Haley then called for term limits and cognitive testing…

September 15, 2023: While Nikki Haley was on the debate stage in Milwaukee last month, her Iowa state director’s phone was blowing up. (NBC News)

“Just from start to end during the debate, I got more than 400 texts and email from different people saying, “I’m in,'” Bill Mackey told NBC News, saying he heard from many Iowa voters that saw her standout performance as “their moment of saying, ‘OK, I’ve seen enough.”

It’s with that new level of attention and expectation that Haley returns to Iowa Friday – her first swing through the Hawkeye State in several weeks, exactly four months ahead of the Jan. 15 caucuses. But the primary debate’s impact has already been visible elsewhere: At two separate events in South Carolina, Haley attracted more than 1,000 attendees – exceeding both expectations and venue capacity. Her campaign raked in over $1 million in fundraising in the days immediately after the debate. And a new Monmouth University-Washington Post poll showed her pulling away from the pack into second place in her home state, though still well behind Donald Trump…

…The former South Carolina governor has done 36 events in Iowa in her seven months as a candidate – the most amount the 2024 hopefuls, according to an NBC News review of candidate schedules – and she’ll add another seven this weekend…

November 11, 2023: Nikki Haley is seeing signs of growing support in her bid to be the main GOP primary alternative to former President Trump, with the Iowa caucuses less than two months away. (The Hill)

In the clearest sign yet of her newfound momentum, the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Action endorsed Haley earlier this week, the first time a deep-pocketed outside group has backed a GOP candidate in the 2024 primary.

The endorsement gives Haley a leg up as she looks to topple Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) from his second-place perch. Still, skepticism remains over whether she ultimately has a real chance to beat Trump, who is still leading the GOP field by double digits in state and national polls, events she strengthens her position with donors…

…It will be most significant in Iowa, where polls show Haley tied with DeSantis for second, and in New Hampshire, where she is running second behind Trump…

…DeSantis’s campaign responded to the endorsement by calling it, essentially, an endorsement of Trump…

November 20, 2023: Of all of Donald Trump’s distant challenges for the GOP nomination, Nikki Haley has emerged as perhaps the most viable alternative – rising in the polls and raking in donor dollars on the strength of debate performances in which she registered as more reasonable than most of her rivals. But in an appearance in Iowa over the weekend, the former South Carolina governor made it clear she’s cut from the same cloth as her fellow Republicans, including on abortion. (Vanity Fair)

…Haley, a former Trump administration official, had a stand-out moment in the third GOP primary debate where she called to “find consensus” on abortion: “As much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice, and I don’t want them to judge me for being pro-life,” Haley said. “We don’t need to divide America over this issue anymore.”

Of course, Haley has good reason to want the issue to be less charged: The day before that Miami debate, voters in off-year races across the country once again expressed their displeasure with the GOP’s anti-abortion extremism at the ballot box, in what President Joe Biden and the Democrats hope is a preview of next fall’s general election. Haley’s comparatively soft rhetoric around abortion on November 8 wasn’t a statement of principle so much as it was an effort to find less politically-damaging ways to talk about the issue…

December 2, 2023: GOP hopeful Nikki Haley faces a moment of truth in the next primary debate Wednesday in Alabama: Can she seize on her momentum and put in a top-level performance that will turn her into a real rival for the presidential nomination to former President Trump? (The Hill)

The former United Nation’s ambassador has seen boosts from her previous debate performances, and another standout showing could propel her ahead of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has long been considered Trump’s closest rival.

Given Trump’s significant lead over the rest of the GOP field, all eyes are on the race for second place – with just more than a month before 2024 voting kicks off with the Iowa caucuses in mid-January…

…Haley got another boost last week when Americans for Prosperity Action, the conservative network led by billionaire Charles Koch, backed her 2024 bid. JPMorgam Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also called for Democrats to help Haley in her bid…

…The fourth debate – which is being hosted and broadcast by NewsNation and is being held in Tuscaloosa – is also a pivotal moment for DeSantis.

…The Republican National Committee (RNC) hasn’t yet announced which candidates have met their heightened criteria for the fourth debate, but Haley, DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy appear to have qualified. Chris Christie’s team has said the former New Jersey governor has also met the donor criteria.

Trump has skipped the debate stages so far, and plans to forgo the next…

December 8, 2023: Home Depot co-founder and billionaire Ken Langone put his support behind GOP hopeful Nikki Haley on Friday, calling her approach to the 2024 election “smart.” (The Hill)…

…The backing from Langone, who endorsed former President Trump in his 2016 White House campaign, comes after Haley secured an endorsement from another top donor: the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Action. The organization announced their support last month, making the first time a deep-pocketed group has endorsed a GOP candidate in a presidential primary…

…Haley’s endorsements have given her a leg up on DeSantis, who was long seen as Trump’s biggest rival in the race. But, despite her best efforts and donors, skepticism remains over whether she can truly overtake Trump, who is in the lead by double digits in national polling.

December 9, 2023: Nikki Haley is seeking to rebound after a debate performance in Alabama that drew a mixed reception from Republicans a little more than a month out from the Iowa caucuses. (The Hill)

Haley went into the debate, which was hosted by The Hill’s sister news organization NewsNation, with high expectations after several strong debate performances gave her a burst of momentum in recent months. It was immediately clear during the Wednesday night event that the former U.N. ambassador was the candidate to take on, with rivals – including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) – hurling attacks at her right out of the gate as they vie to be the main alternative to former President Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

While observers said Haley didn’t have a terrible showing in Tuscaloosa, Ala., many said she failed to stand out like she did in previous debates, potentially threatening her standing as she and DeSantis look to shore up the most support among Republican voters wanting to move on from Trump…

…DeSantis had long been seen as the party’s best Trump alternative, but Haley has surged in recent weeks, threatening the Florida governor’s runner-up status. Haley has been gaining on DeSantis in Iowa and has far surpassed him in New Hampshire, according to RealClearPolitics polling averages of each state…

…Haley’s campaign maintained she left the event in a strong position, pointing to a CNN focus group of Iowa voters that voted Haley as the winner. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Haley was the most searched-for candidate on Google during the debate…

…Haley and DeSantis both would benefit from candidates like Ramaswamy and Christie to start dropping out, strategists noted…

December 15, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley announced Friday that she’ll take part in the CNN presidential debate slated for next month in Iowa, just days before the state’s GOP caucus kicks off the presidential nominating cycle. (The Hill)

“The first four debates have been great for our campaign and for voters, and we look forward to the fifth in Iowa,” Haley said in a statement.

The former U.N. ambassador also called on former President Trump, who has skipped the four debates held so far, to take part in the debate.

“As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide,” Haley said.

Trump, the GOP front-runner for the nomination, has cited his significant lead over competitors as a reason for not participating – and they’ve taken jabs at his absence during the events.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also said he plans to take part in the Iowa program. Other candidates haven’t directly confirmed they’ll participate in the Hawkeye State event, which also requires them to clear a high polling threshold…

…CNN will host its Jan. 10 debate in Iowa five days before the [Republican] caucus, and announced plans for another in New Hampshire on Jan. 21, just before the Jan. 23 primary. ABC is planning a Jan. 18 debate in the Granite State.

December 15, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley dismissed an invitation from Fox News Host Sean Hannity to debate fellow GOP primary candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (The Hill)

“I’ve debated him four times. I love debates. I have no issue wit that,” Haley said when asked by Hannity if she would participate in a one-on-one with DeSantis. “But quite honestly, the person I want to debate is Donald Trump. If you can get him on your show, that’s who I want to debate. That’s who we’re looking at.”

Former President Trump, the race’s front-runner, has so far not participated in any of the four Republican presidential primary debates, citing his large lead over the rest of the field…

December 20, 2023: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley expressed her opposition Wednesday to the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to disqualify former President Trump from the state ballot, arguing the decision is “truly unthinkable.”

“The idea that judges are going to take it upon themselves to decided who can and can’t be on the ballot is truly unthinkable,” Haley said in an interview with Fox New’s Martha MacCallum. “And I think the people of Colorado should be furious.”

Colorado’s high court handed down a ruling stating that Trump should be prevented from appearing on the ballot under the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause, which states those who took oaths to support the Constitution cannot engage in rebellion against it.

The court’s 4-3 ruling states Trump engaged in an insurrection by falsely claiming election fraud and rallying his supporters to go to the Capitol prior to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack, and rules the office of the presidency falls under the insurrection clause.

Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, emphasized she will defeat Trump “on [her] own and doesn’t need a judge to remove him from the ballot.

“I don’t think [Trump] should be president, I think I should be president,” Haley said Wednesday. “I think our country would do a lot better if I was, but we should have this race fair and square with him on the ballot, just like everybody else.”

“And the idea that we go and say, just because these liberal justices don’t like him, they want to take him off the ballot – that’s not democracy, that’s not who we are. That’s not what we need to do.”…

December 20, 2023: Nikki Haley is facing a barrage of sexist attacks in her bid to become the GOP nominee for president, underscoring the hurdles women face when running for the highest office in the country. (The Hill)

The 51-year-old former United Nations ambassador is experiencing surging momentum as the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary near, tailoring her pitch around her credentials to beat President Biden.

But the gendered attacks from her male opponents also raise the question of how they might impact her standing before voting begins in the critical early primary states.

“There’s no winning, no matter what approach she chooses,” said Jennifer Horn, a former New Hampshire GoP chairwoman. “Whether she decides to ignore it and continue or just advance her message or to stand up and push back strongly, it’s a lose lose.”…

…Haley, who is still polling behind former President Trump, has nonetheless risen among other rivals after she used several strong televised debate performances to position herself as a viable alternative to the 45th president. On the national stage, she came out strongly against Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech executive who repeatedly used gender-based critiques against her…

…The survey by CBS News shows her closing in on Trump and outpacing him as more “likable,” a historically tough metric for female candidates to overcome. She’s also seen as the most “reasonable,” according to the survey, and is just 1 point below Trump in preparedness for higher office, earning 53 percent to his 54 percent…

December 20, 2023: Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Quinnipiac University’s newest poll of the GOP presidential primary race, marking the latest sign of Haley’s emerging threat to the Florida governor. (The Hill)

The new poll, published by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday, found 67 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters support President Trump, while DeSantis and Haley each received 11 percent support.

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s support fell into the single digits, with 4 percent choosing Ramaswamy and 3 percent choosing Christie.

The poll marked Trump and Haley’s highest levels of support and DeSantis’ lowest point since Quinnipiac University began the national surveys in February 2023. In February, DeSantis received 36 percent support, pollsters noted…

…Haley has continued to rise in the polls in recent weeks, and in some places, – notably New Hampshire – she has surpassed DeSantis’s once-comfortable second-place spot…

…Trump has continued to maintain a strong lead over his GOP rivals in recent polls, despite four ongoing criminal cases, a civil fraud trial and, as of Tuesday, a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that bars him from appearing on the state’s ballot.

January 10, 2024: GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley called the argument from former President Trump’s attorney that the assassination of political rivals is protected by presidential immunity “ridiculous.” (The Hill)

Haley said at the CNN GOP presidential debate Wednesday the common sense needs to be considered when evaluating what is protected under presidential immunity and what is not.

“That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous. We need to use some common sense. You can’t go and kill a political rival and then claim immunity from a president,” she said.

Her criticism came after Trump attorney John Sauer argued before a panel of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judges that the president would be protected from prosecution if they ordered the SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival if the president were not impeached and removed by the Senate first.

“He would have to be impeached and convicted,” Sauer said Tuesday.

He was responding to a hypothetical question from a judge about the limits of presidential immunity. Trump’s legal team argued the former president should be shielded from prosecution in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation because he is immune…

January 10, 2024: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley hit Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state of his campaign at the CNN Republican debate in Des Moines on Wednesday. (The Hill)

“The best way to tell about a candidate is to see how they run their campaign.” Haley said. “He has blown through 150 million dollars,” she added, referring to DeSantis. “I don’t even know how you do that.”

“He has nothing to show for it. He’s spent more money on private planes than he has on commercials trying to get Iowans to vote for him. If you can’t manage a campaign, how are you going to manage a country?” Haley said to applause.

Haley and DeSantis spent most of Wednesday’s debate hitting each other over policy and lobbing insults. In his opening remarks, DeSantis referred to Haley as a “mealy-mouthed politician.” DeSantis also painted Haley as a “corporatist” Republican, who is beholden to donors…

Posted in 2024 Presidential Campaign