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Nikki Haley says she will vote for Trump in November

Stephanie Lai, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

Nikki Haley, who challenged Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, said she plans to vote for her former rival in November, becoming the latest critic of the former president to back his White House bid.

“Biden has been a catastrophe. So I will be voting for Trump,” Haley said Wednesday at an event in Washington, her first public speech since dropping out of the GOP presidential primary in March.

Haley said that Trump has “not been perfect” on many issues, including foreign policy, but that she would nonetheless support his attempt to return to the White House. President Joe Biden has openly courted her supporters to back his campaign, and it has been an open question whether she would throw her support behind Trump.

“Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him,” she said.

Haley’s endorsement of Trump is the latest sign of his near-total grip over the Republican Party.

Haley served as United Nations ambassador under Trump, but they ran an acrimonious campaign against one another filled with personal attacks. After Trump in February made fun of Haley and her husband, who was deployed in the military, the Haley said her former boss was “not qualified” to be president because he showed “disrespect” to the armed services.

Trump, who insulted Haley with the moniker “Birdbrain,” threatened to ban her donors and supporters from his wing of the GOP if they continued to support her. The college-educated voters and women who were drawn to Haley are many of the same voters Trump needs win over if he’s to beat Biden in November.

It’s unclear how much her endorsement will influence her coalition of moderates, independents and anti-Trump Republicans to back the former president. Haley continues to appeal to notable numbers of Republicans, including 21% of voters in an Indiana primary where votes were cast two months after she dropped out of the race.

 

Some Republicans have floated Haley as a potential vice presidential pick. Trump batted down those suggestions earlier this month, posting on social media that she wasn’t under consideration.

Wall Street backing

As a candidate, she secured the backing of high-profile conservatives on Wall Street and moderate Republicans in Washington who valued her middle-ground policies and foreign policy chops. Haley won several urban and suburban areas in early primary voting contests with the help of some Democrats, but was out-of-step with many GOP voters who cast far more ballots for Trump.

Haley joined the Hudson Institute shortly after suspending her campaign in March, after she lost all but one of the Super Tuesday states to Trump.

Haley is staunch advocate for Israel in their conflict with Hamas in Gaza, upholding international alliances such as NATO and curbing China. She has found herself at-odds with Trump and others in the GOP who prefer more isolationist policies.

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