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HomeHeadline newsEx-White House hopeful Nikki Haley pledges her vote to Trump

Ex-White House hopeful Nikki Haley pledges her vote to Trump

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Former presidential hopeful Nikki Haley announced on Wednesday that she will vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming US election. However, she indicated that her one-time bitter rival must work to win over her moderate support base as he faces President Joe Biden in November.

The former South Carolina governor, 52, ended her White House bid in March after several heavy defeats in primary contests. She had not previously stated whether she would support Trump, who had repeatedly referred to her as “birdbrain.”

Despite her harsh criticisms of the scandal-plagued ex-president, Haley expressed at an event for the Washington-based Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, that she is encouraging Trump to engage with her supporters. “Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me, continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him. And I genuinely hope he does that,” she stated.

More than two months after halting her White House campaign, Haley continues to garner a significant portion of votes in presidential primary contests, highlighting a persistent reluctance among a considerable bloc of Republicans to support Trump.

“I prioritize a president who will support our allies and hold our enemies accountable, who will secure the border—no more excuses—a president who will support capitalism and freedom, and who understands the need for less debt, not more,” she said. “Trump hasn’t been perfect on these policies. I’ve made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So I will be voting for Trump.”

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During the state-by-state nominating contests, Trump and Haley exchanged vicious barbs. The former UN ambassador warned that nominating her former boss would lead to a general election defeat for Republicans. She pointed out that the majority of voters opposed a rematch between “chaos” candidate Trump and Biden, two men aged 77 and 81 respectively, whom she deemed past their prime.

“He’s getting meaner and more offensive by the day,” Haley remarked ahead of her defeat in her home state of South Carolina in February. “He’s completely distracted, and everything is about him. He’s so obsessed with his demons in the past that he can’t focus on the future Americans deserve,” she told her supporters.

Haley criticized Trump’s comments attacking NATO nations and highlighted his numerous court appearances due to multiple criminal indictments and lawsuits. “It’s not normal to spend $50 million in campaign contributions on personal court cases,” Haley noted. “It’s not normal to threaten people who back your opponent, and it’s not normal to call on Russia to invade NATO countries.”

Trump responded by categorically ruling her out as a potential running mate.

Trump has struggled to attract Haley’s moderate backers, and he will view her public show of support as a significant boost ahead of the Republican nominating convention in July. The persistence of Haley’s support long after she ended her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has led US media to refer to her continued presence on the primary stage as a “zombie campaign.”

The primaries have exposed Trump’s key shortcoming—his lack of appeal among moderates, independents, and voters with college degrees, whom he will need to win over to prevail against Biden. Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has been reaching across the aisle, hoping to attract Haley’s voters. In April, they released a TV spot targeting suburban battlegrounds with the message: “If you voted for Nikki Haley, Donald Trump doesn’t want your vote.”

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