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Nikki Haley Launches 2024 Presidential Campaign, Challenges GOP to Win Back Voters’ Confidence

This week, Nikki Haley, who has been South Carolina's Governor and the United Nations Ambassador during the Trump administration, declared her 2024 presidential campaign, becoming the first Republican to contest ex-President Donald Trump.[0] Haley is the daughter of immigrants from India and the first woman to become the Governor of South Carolina and only the second person of Indian descent to hold the post in any US state after Bobby Jindal (Louisiana).[1]

Haley, at the age of 51, provides a youthful perspective to any voters concerned about the possibility of a Biden vs. Trump rematch, with both candidates being 80 and 76 years of age, respectively[2] She proposed having “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old” as an implied dig at both Trump and Biden.[3] Haley was critical of the Republican Party’s claims of election fraud as well as the January 6 insurrection of the US Capitol encouraged by Trump himself.[1]

Haley rose to prominence during her two terms as governor, notably after she ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds in response to the racially motivated shooting of nine people by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015.[1]

Haley, who was once a “Never Trumper” before resigning to serve in the Trump administration, has since backtracked and said that she would support him if he ran for president in 2024.[0] However, she has now taken a stance against Trump, saying that Republicans have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans in recent presidential elections.[2]

“We've lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. Our cause is right, but we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. Well, that ends today,” Haley said in her video.[4]

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a close ally of both Trump and Haley, came out in support of Haley’s campaign Wednesday, becoming her first endorsement from a congressional lawmaker from her home state. Before her speech, Haley received an endorsement from South Carolina's Rep. Ralph Norman, a Trump ally who initially opposed the election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Haley has a strong base of support in her home state and is looking to challenge Republicans to channel their anger with recent electoral defeats.[5] “If you're tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation. And if you want to win, not just as a party, but as a country, stand with me,” Haley concluded.[6]

0. “Nikki Haley's in, but GOP primary remains Trump/DeSantis showdown” GZERO Media, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.gzeromedia.com/in-60-seconds/us-politics/nikki-haley-in-but-gop-primary-remains-trump-desantis-showdown

1. “Meet Nikki Haley: Indian-origin former US ambassador to the UN, set to run as Republican nominee for president” The Indian Express, 15 Feb. 2023, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/nikki-haley-republican-party-nomination-us-8447372

2. “Haley officially launches her presidential bid: ‘We're ready'” ABC News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/haley-kicks-off-white-house-campaign-ready/story?id=97221383

3. “Nikki Haley launches 2024 presidential run, calling for “new generation” of GOP leadership” CBS News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/nikki-haley-2024-presidential-campaign-launch-south-carolina/

4. “Nikki Haley leaps into 2024 GOP presidential primary at packed campaign rally” Fox News, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nikki-haley-leaps-2024-gop-presidential-primary-campaign-rally

5. “Haley calls for US to move on from ‘faded names of the past’” The Hill, 15 Feb. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3859633-haley-calls-for-us-to-move-on-from-faded-names-of-the-past/

6. “Nikki Haley calls for competency tests for politicians over 75 during campaign launch” POLITICO, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/15/nikki-haley-competency-tests-00083018