“Yes, we need to go in a new direction, and can I be that leader? Yes, I think I can be that leader,” the 51-year-old said.
Haley, who served as governor of South Carolina before joining former President Trump’s administration, is considered a rising star in the Republican party.
The Republican nomination race started taking shape last year after Mr. Trump announced his plans to run for the White House a third time. However, Mr. Trump had expected the launch to come on the heels of a red wave in the midterms. The party, however, failed to meet expectations after untested Trump-backed contenders fell in crucial Senate races and the House GOP netted fewer seats than anticipated.
Haley’s comments suggest Mr. Trump‘s early announcement has not scared away possible rivals. She had said she would not run if Mr. Trump seeks another term in office but has changed her tune in the wake of the disappointing 2022 midterm elections, which some in the party have blamed on Mr. Trump.
In her interview on Fox, Haley highlighted her record of accomplishments, highlighting her tenure as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017 and her tenure as ambassador to the U.N., where she served for nearly two years. “So, do I think I can be that leader? Yes,” she said. “I have never lost a race. … But stay tuned.”
A Morning Consult poll released this week found Mr. Trump is the preferred pick of 48% of GOP voters, followed by Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, 31%, and former Vice President Mike Pence, 8%.
Haley barely registered, coming in at 2% alongside Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Former Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming received 3%. The survey suggested a lot of GOP voters are unfamiliar with Haley. While 44% of potential GOP primary voters said they have a favorable opinion of her, 28% said they had never heard of her, and 19% said they have no opinion.
Despite her low polling numbers, Haley is considered a strong candidate for the Republican nomination. A focus on economic development, job creation, and education reform marked her tenure as governor of South Carolina.
She also gained national attention for her handling of the Charleston church shooting in 2015.
As United Nations Ambassador, she was known for her strong stance against human rights abuses and for her efforts to promote American interests on the global stage.
Many political observers believe Haley’s ability to appeal to both establishment and grassroots Republican voters, along with her record of accomplishment and her ability to connect with voters, make her a formidable candidate in the 2024 Republican nomination race.
As she said in her interview, “stay tuned.” We expect to hear more from Nikki Haley in the coming months as she decides whether to enter the race officially.
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