Nikki Haley, Who Backed Trump in 2020, Says the President Shouldn’t Be Old
Nikki Haley is running for president, which she may find difficult considering how she’s praised the far-more-popular candidate she’s going to have to defeat to secure the Republican nomination. The former South Carolina governor is going to need to find a way to differentiate herself from Donald Trump if she has any chance of making an impact in the primary. She’s started by arguing that Americans need a shot of life in the White House.
“We won’t win the fight for the 21st Century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th Century,” she tweeted on Wednesday. Haley, 51, must have only recently come to this realization, as she has a long record of touting Trump’s leadership, including ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump is now 76 years old. He was 74 years old when he lost in 2020.
“We’re ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future,” Haley said on Wednesday, calling for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Haley was governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017, when she became Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations despite having no previous foreign policy experience. She voluntarily stepped down, ostensibly, from the role a year later but continued to support Trump. She touted the former president’s leadership while speaking behind a Trump/Pence placard at the 2020 Republican National Convention. “The UN is not for the faint of heart,” she said. “It’s a place where dictators, murderers and thieves denounce America and then put their hands out and demand that we pay their bills. Well, President Trump put an end to all of that. With his leadership, we did what Barack Obama and Joe Biden refused to do. We stood up for America.”
Haley was critical of Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, however, telling Politico a few months later that “he let us down” and that he has no future in the Republican Party. “I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
It didn’t take her long to change her mind. “We need him in the Republican Party,” she told The Wall Street Journal that October. “I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.”
Trump, not surprisingly, doesn’t seem to consider Haley much of a threat. During a rally in South Carolina last month, he said Haley called him to talk about entering the 2024 race, and that he encouraged her to do so. He also pointed out to the crowd that Haley once said she’d never run against Trump. He later posted a video of her comments to Truth Social. He brought them up again after Haley’s big kickoff event on Wednesday.
“Nikki Haley had a hard time making the decision to run for President because she very publicly stated that she ‘would never run against the President. He did a GREAT JOB, and was the best President in my lifetime,’” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I told Nikki to follow her heart, not her ambition or belief. Who knows, stranger things have happened. She’s polling at 1%, not a bad start!!!”