With no poll showing Nikki Haley breaking into double digits in the Republican Primary over the past five months, the former U.N. Ambassador isn’t doing anyone a favor with her presidential campaign, with the exception of former President Donald Trump.
Haley failed to gain much traction during her initial launch as the first major candidate to officially declare after Trump’s announcement. Despite the national spotlight Haley enjoyed in February with no other Trump primary challengers competing for attention, her campaign couldn’t convert the exposure to expand their base of support. Other than her announcement speech and a gaffe that made her sound as if she was supporting Russia against Ukraine, Haley hasn’t given the press any reason to pay much attention to her campaign. Despite multiple opportunities to differentiate herself from Trump in the immediate aftermath of indictments against the former president, Haley has been reluctant to vocalize any criticism of his past or current legal issues.
Earlier this week, the New York Times published an interview with Haley which made her sound like she was in denial about her current standing among Republicans polled since her announcement.
“I look at it like one goal after another; I don’t look at the end,” Haley said in the interview from New Hampshire, where she holds 4.3 percent of the vote. “I know that by midfall, this is going to be totally different. Once you pass Labor Day, the numbers start to shift. And you can look at history for that. That’s not me just hoping, that’s me knowing.”
To date, no major new outlet poll has Haley hitting double-digit percent of support against Trump, but the percentage she does draw could possibly shift to other Trump challengers, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only GOP candidate to consistently poll in double digits. Since Haley has been unwilling to condemn Trump’s actions or policies, Haley’s mere presence in the primary siphons support from any and all fellow challengers to Trump. There is no logical explanation for Haley’s refusal to criticize Trump, or her criticism of Ron DeSantis, labeling him as a Mini Trump without the charm.
Haley’s appeasement of Trump has been obvious since she launched her campaign in February, when she refrained from making any mention of Trump during her campaign launch speech. The closest Haley came to criticizing her former boss was when she stressed the need for younger leadership and expressed the need for closer scrutiny of elderly candidates, but even in that statement, she couldn’t bring herself to utter his name.
“We’ll have term limits for Congress, and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75-years old,” Haley said. She has yet to directly criticized any policy decisions made by the former President, despite the fact she was the first high profile Republican to enter the primary after Trump declared his 2024 candidacy.
This op-ed was originally posted on our sister site, 2024Field.com
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