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Nikki Haley, Former US Ambassador to UN, Announces 2024 Republican Presidential Bid


FILE - Nikki Haley, then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Sept. 15, 2017.
FILE - Nikki Haley, then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Sept. 15, 2017.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Tuesday she is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination against her one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, who appointed her as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley, 51, made the announcement in a social media video, saying, “Joe Biden’s record is abysmal. It’s time for a new generation of leaders.”

The 3½-minute video never mentioned Trump who, in November, announced he also is seeking the Republican nomination to try to reclaim the presidency he lost to Biden in the 2020 election. The video highlights her early years in South Carolina as the daughter of immigrant Indian Punjabi Sikhs, how she became governor from 2011 to 2017 and then resigned to become Trump’s U.N. ambassador in 2017 and 2018.

“The Washington establishment has failed us over and over again,” she declared.

Haley at one time said she would not run for president if Trump were also in the field. But rather than taking aim at him in the video, she showed the faces of the usual Republican targets: Democrats Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

She noted that Republicans had lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight national presidential elections, even though former president George W. Bush, in 2000, and Trump in 2016, both won the White House in the country’s Electoral College. It is the U.S. system of electing leaders in state-by-state voting in which the biggest states hold the most electoral votes.

When VOA queried the former president for reaction Tuesday, Trump, through a campaign spokesperson, replied in an email: “Even though Nikki Haley said, ‘I would never run against my President, he was a great President, the best President in my lifetime,’ I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants to do. I wish her luck!"

Haley is the first of what could be a lengthy list of former Trump officials or one-time political allies challenging him for the Republican nomination next year, with former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo among those weighing a run for the White House. A current South Carolina lawmaker, Senator Tim Scott, is also considering joining the nomination contest.

Another possible challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has not announced his candidacy but has led Trump among Republican voters in some early nomination polls. Haley typically has trailed them, as have Pence and Pompeo.

In the newest poll, conducted in the last week by Reuters/Ipsos, Trump received support from 43% of registered Republicans, while DeSantis got 31%, Pence 7% and Haley 4%.