Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley says she will not run for president come 2024 if former President Donald Trump officially decides to enter the race for the White House again.
“I would not run if President Trump ran,” Haley told reporters at a press conference in Orangeburg, South Carolina. “And I would talk to him about it. You know, that’s something that we will have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”
When asked if she would support Trump if he mounts another campaign for the White House. Haley answered without hesitation, “Yes.”
“I would, absolutely,” Haley responded.
Haley said the last time she spoke to Trump was “after the presidential election,” but before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
“I had a great working relationship with him,” Haley said. “I appreciated the way he let me do my job. I thought we did some fantastically great foreign policy things together. Look, I just want to keep building on what we accomplished and not watch it get torn down.”
The former ambassador to the United Nations under Trump during the first two years, Haley is often mentioned as a high-profile potential 2024 contender but has rubbed supporters of the former president the wrong way in recent weeks over remarks where she sharply criticized Trump over his post-2020 election behavior following the Capitol riots.
In a closed-door speech to Republican National Committee members, Haley scolded the former president in the wake of the Capitol riots, saying that Trump’s actions “will be judged harshly by history.”
“President Trump has not always chosen the right words,” Haley said during an appearance at the RNC’s winter meeting on Amelia Island, Florida on Jan. 7. “He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”
She also said the GOP played a role, adding that “if we are the party of personal responsibility, we need to take personal responsibility.”
“We can and should talk about our major differences,” Haley said. “But we must stop turning the American people against each other — and this Republican Party must lead the way.”
Following her remarks to RNC members, Haley continued her criticism of her former boss. In an interview with Politico a month later, Haley said Trump “let us down,” while predicting that he won’t be in the conversation will “never run for federal office again.”
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said in a Politico interview published in February. “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 let that ever happen again.”
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” Haley added, suggesting that the events of Jan. 6 permanently damaged his political career. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far. What we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party,” Haley said. “But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party.”
In a subsequent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Haley attempted to do damage control for her string of negative remarks, accusing the media of trying to “stoke a nonstop Republican Civil War” over its reporting on Republicans who disagree with the president, while touting his four years of accomplishments as president.
“The liberal media doesn’t care about that. It wants to stoke a nonstop Republican civil war. The media playbook starts with the demand that everyone picks sides about Donald Trump —either love or hates everything about him,” Haley wrote in the WSJ op-ed. “The moment anyone on the right offers the slightest criticism of the 45th president, the media goes berserk: Republicans are trying to have it both ways! It’s a calculated strategy to pit conservatives against one another.”
“We can’t go back to the pre-Trump GOP. Those days are over, and they should be. But we lost our majorities in the House and Senate, and we’ve lost the national popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections. Surely there’s room for improvement as a party. We should embrace the successes of the Trump presidency and recognize the need to attract more support,” Haley added.
Following her numerous controversial negative remarks towards the former president, it was widely reported that Trump turned down a meeting request by Haley. The two, according to Politico haven’t spoken since the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 and following the former UN ambassador remarks where she blasted Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.
However, on Monday Haley struck a different tone about Trump, specifically defending his recent remarks he made against top Republican leaders during a speech to GOP donors over the weekend.
“I think former President Trump’s always been opinionated,” Haley said at the news conference when asked about Trump’s RNC speech.
“Just because he left being president, that’s not going to stop. But I think what he also talked about were all the successes that he had in the administration. And I think that’s what Republicans are uniting on.”
While Trump has hinted at a 2024 comeback in a recent interview, he has held back from fully making an official announcement, saying he is awaiting the results from the 2022 midterms and if the GOP takes back both chambers in Congress before making his final decision.