Haley’s Challenge Mounts As South Carolina Republicans Rally Behind Trump

Aiexpress – Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is determined to continue her campaign in her home state of South Carolina, despite finishing third in the Iowa caucuses and losing to former President Donald Trump by over 10 points in the New Hampshire Republican primary.

Despite serving two terms as governor, Haley has received limited support from Republican figures in South Carolina for her challenge against Trump in the upcoming primary. Only Rep. Ralph Norman and a few state legislators have backed Haley, while the majority, including Gov. Henry McMaster, Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, and five out of six House Republicans, have thrown their support behind Trump. Their endorsement of the former president is based on their belief in his potential to secure victory.

According to his campaign, Trump has also secured the backing of 66 South Carolina state legislators. On the other hand, Haley’s campaign claims that she has the support of 12 state legislators.

South Carolina state Representative Sylleste Davis expressed her belief that Haley has conducted a commendable campaign. However, she acknowledged that there comes a point where the inevitable victory of President Trump becomes apparent.

Norman, the only congressional supporter of Haley, expressed his personal liking for Trump. However, he firmly stood by his decision to support Haley. He emphasized that Trump crossed a line by attacking her in his victory speech at the New Hampshire GOP primary.

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“I endorsed Nikki in February of last year,” Norman recalled. “I reached out to Donald Trump beforehand because I hold him in high regard. I said, ‘President Trump, I’m going to endorse Nikki.’ He was very gracious, although I believe he didn’t initially think she had a shot at winning. However, I had faith in Nikki and knew she had a real chance.”

“She possesses an unwavering resolve and determination that is truly remarkable. With 48 states still remaining, she will continue to compete, and I believe this is beneficial for the system. Competition is a positive force, Kaitlan,” he emphasized.

Norman has demonstrated his support by joining Haley on the campaign trail. In fact, he took the opportunity to introduce Haley on stage during a welcome-home rally in Charleston on Wednesday. In his speech, Norman urged South Carolinians to stand alongside her.

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, initially a Trump critic, has gradually changed her stance and become one of Trump’s supporters in Congress.

“I haven’t fully agreed with any candidate, and I’ve refrained from taking sides up until now. However, the moment has arrived to rally behind our chosen nominee,” Mace expressed in a recent endorsement of Trump on social media. “To be frank, things have been quite chaotic since he departed from the White House.”

On Friday, Daniel Hanlon, Mace’s former top aide, took a significant step by submitting the necessary paperwork to challenge his former boss in the upcoming congressional primary in June. This is quite an uncommon occurrence, highlighting the unique nature of the situation.

Haley threw her support behind Mace during her primary campaign in 2022, in which she went head-to-head against a candidate backed by Trump.

Last week, the Haley campaign faced a significant setback when Scott decided to endorse Trump instead of Haley. This endorsement was particularly surprising considering that Haley had appointed Scott to the Senate back in 2013, as a replacement for retiring Sen. Jim DeMint.

Scott burst into laughter and responded, “I simply adore you.”

Despite facing these obstacles, the Haley campaign remains resilient. They have acknowledged the anticipated defeat in Iowa and have claimed that their target was always to secure 40% or more of the votes in New Hampshire. The super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., which supports Haley, has stated that the main purpose of the Granite State was to narrow down the competition.

Haley emphasized the importance of considering the perspectives of all 50 states in the voting process. “Only two states have voted so far,” she said. “We cannot overlook the 48 remaining states that also deserve to have their voices heard.”

The campaign acknowledged the absence of support in her home state, emphasizing Nikki’s identity as an anti-establishment, conservative candidate. During her tenure as governor, she actively championed pro-life legislation, enforced stricter measures against illegal immigration, transformed South Carolina into a thriving economic force, and fearlessly confronted both political parties on matters of spending and transparency. In contrast, while Trump seeks favor from all corners of Washington, it is apparent that he has become part of the establishment.

Even members of the Republican National Committee are openly advocating for Haley to withdraw from the race, as she continues to persist.

In a recent interview with Fox News, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel expressed her doubts about Haley’s chances of winning, stating that after carefully analyzing the numbers and future prospects, she didn’t think Haley could emerge victorious.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, emphasized the importance of rallying behind their ultimate nominee, who is expected to be Donald Trump. She stressed the need for unity within the party to ensure victory over Joe Biden in the upcoming election.

On Thursday, the news broke about the RNC’s draft resolution, which was later withdrawn. The resolution aimed to declare Trump as the party’s nominee. In response to this, Haley’s campaign suggested that if Ronna McDaniel wants to be helpful, she could organize a debate in South Carolina. However, they also questioned whether McDaniel was concerned that Trump wouldn’t be able to handle being on stage with Nikki Haley for 90 minutes.

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