HomePoliticsNikki Haley is Trump's last standing rival. Just don't call her...

Nikki Haley is Trump’s last standing rival. Just don’t call her anti-Trump.

WASHINGTON— Nikki Haley seems to want to have it both ways in the Republican primaries: she is acting as the voice of Republicans looking for an alternative to the former president Donald Trump — but she doesn’t want to be labeled an anti-Trump Republican.

In a roundtable with reporters in Washington on Friday, Haley said she was running to help the Republican Party move past Trump and broaden its appeal to Americans fed up with the country’s angry and divisive politics.

But after a string of losses to Trump, she cast herself as “a happy warrior” and insisted her bid was about policy and solutions, not the man she once served under as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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“Everyone kind of assumes this is an anti-Trump movement, and it’s actually not,” she said, describing herself not as anti-Trump but as “pro-America.” “This is a movement where people want to be heard.”

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The Washington event, held in the boardroom of a Georgetown hotel, was part of a national campaign campaign that included stops in the states of Michigan and Super Tuesday across the country before the delegate-rich primary election day on 5 March. , also in South Carolina, her home state, Haley has stepped up her attacks on Trump and his transformation of the Republican Party.

In the wide-ranging conversation Friday, Haley continued her sharp criticism of Trump and President Joe Biden, calling them “two old guys running for president” — a recurring attack — and describing their dual visits to the border Thursday as merely “photo- ops”. – a joke she made earlier this week.

But in a newer twist, she excoriated Trump for his record of retaliation and his grip on the party, suggesting that his obsession with retaliation and loyalty had made the Republican Party one man.

“When Donald Trump said that anyone who supports me will be permanently banned from MAGA,” she said, “it meant, ‘if you’re not for me, you’re against me.’”

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Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, said her run for president made her understand why so many people have left both parties. But she rejected the idea of ​​joining the centrist group No Labels on a third-party presidential ticket, saying she felt the group was not aligned with her priorities.

“I know they’ve been sending out smoke signals that they want me to talk to them, but I’m a Republican,” she said, adding that she would reject a ticket that requires a Democratic vice presidential nominee. “I can’t do what I want to do as president with a Democratic vice president.” (Nancy Jacobson, No Labels’ CEO, has privately told donors that the group will choose a Republican as leader and a Democrat as vice presidential candidate.)

Haley said her campaign recently surpassed Trump’s, revealing that she and her joint fundraising committees raised $12 million in February. But when asked whether she would stay in the race through the convention in mid-July or continue the battle with Trump if she were to end her bid, Haley said she was focused solely on Super Tuesday.

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“I don’t think as far as you do,” she said.

c.2024 The New York Times Company

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