Former US envoy to UN Nikki Haley announces 2024 presidential bid

Haley is the second Republican after former President Donald Trump to announce bid to becomes party’s candidate.

Nikki Haley
Former UN Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has said she will seek the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election [Susan Walsh/The Associated Press]

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has announced she will run for president in the 2024 election, becoming the second Republican to seek the party’s nomination after former President Donald Trump announced his bid last year.

Haley made the announcement in a video posted online on Tuesday, describing herself as the “proud daughter” of Indian immigrants who grew up in the US south.

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, that has to change,” she said in the announcement. In the US, presidents are elected through the electoral college system, and not the popular vote.

In the video, Haley made passing reference to her time as the top envoy to the UN under Trump, during which she spearheaded Trump’s combative “America First” approach to international politics.

She also focused on her tenure as governor of conservative-dominated South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.

“The Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again,” she said in the video. “It’s for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.”

The announcement represented an about-turn for Haley, who said in 2021 that she would not run for president if Trump announced a 2024 bid.

At the time, however, she did keep the door open to changing her mind: “That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about at some point, if that decision is something that has to be made,” she told The Associated Press news agency.

Trump announced his 2024 White House bid in November in the wake of midterm elections in which candidates he endorsed were seen to have generally underperformed.

Haley, like many former Trump officials, has walked a careful line when it comes to her former boss, who despite recent setbacks is still considered an influential figure in Republican politics.

She has generally sought to present herself as a more moderate alternative to Trump, and was a vocal critic of how the former president responded to the January 6, 2021 storming of the US Capitol by supporters seeking to overturn the election victory of President Joe Biden.

Haley particularly focused on Trump’s targeting of his vice president, Mike Pence, who certified Biden’s victory. At the time, she told Politico she was “disgusted” by the former president’s conduct and suggested he would be “out of the picture” in future Republican politics.

Trump, for his part, gushed over Haley when she resigned from her ambassadorship in 2018, calling her a “very special” person and saying she could have her pick of cabinet positions if she returned.

Haley entered the race days after a Yahoo News/YouGov poll indicated her candidacy could actually help Trump, who is widely expected to face a strong challenge from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary.

In the event of the trio all running for the Republican ticket, the poll found, Haley would likely split anti-Trump voters with DeSantis. That, in turn, would give an edge to the former president.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies