- Nikki Haley pledged to support Donald Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee for president in 2024.
- Haley, one of only two declared GOP rivals to Trump, described January 6 as “one sad day in America.”
- Haley made the comments during the “Honestly” podcast with Bari Weiss.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has promised to support former President Donald Trump should he win the 2024 GOP nomination contest — the kind of categorical support that Trump has so far declined to make.
Haley, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor, made the commitment during an episode of the “Honestly” podcast. The host, journalist Bari Weiss, asked Haley to participate in a “lighting round” of questions, in which Haley simply answered “yes” to the question over whether she would support Trump.
Haley’s comments come just days after Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that 2024 GOP White House candidates must pledge to back the party’s presidential nominee if it isn’t them. Otherwise, she said, they’d risk being banned from the debate stage.
Republicans are nervous that Trump won’t agree to the pledge and possibly announce a bid as an independent candidate if he loses, thereby all but ensuring President Joe Biden would get a second term.
Trump told Hugh Hewitt in February that his support for the GOP nominee would depend on who the candidate is, and he refused to make promises over whether to attend all the debates. The former president’s refusal to back down has already been on display, as he continues to falsely say that there was massive, widespread fraud in the 2020 election he lost.
Trump signed a loyalty pledge to support the GOP nominee when he ran in 2016, but then took it back.
Haley, who is around three decades younger than President Joe Biden and Trump, has worked to make the case since her campaign launch that the US should make way for a new generation of leaders.
She previously pledged not to run for president if Trump were to run, but reversed course. Trump announced his candidacy shortly after the November midterms, and Haley launched her campaign in February.
Haley told Weiss that she changed her mind about running because “everything changed,” citing the US’ chaotic pullout from Afghanistan, the surge in illegal border crossings, and poor midterm results for Republicans.
Weiss also asked Haley during the lighting round portion of her podcast whether she would describe January 6 as “an insurrection, a riot, or a coup.”
Haley picked neither of the three options, instead describing it as “a sad day in America.”
Haley previously told Politico that Trump “let us down” after his supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop the certification of Biden’s win.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley told Politico. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”
In her podcast, Haley defended her relationship with Trump, saying that she sometimes agreed with him and at other times didn’t.
“Isn’t that how we deal with everybody? You don’t agree with somebody 100% of the time,” Haley said. “You don’t hate somebody 100% of the time. That’s how I see it with him.”