Haley to launch 2024 White House bid on Feb. 15
By Meg Kinnard | Associated Press
COLUMBIA, SC — Nikki Haley is nearing the official start of her presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, supporters of the former South Carolina governor received an email invitation to a launch event Feb. 15 in Charleston where she plans to announce her campaign, according to a person familiar with the plans but not authorized to speak publicly about it .
News of Haley’s plans was first reported by The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Haley, 51, served as South Carolina’s governor for six years before serving as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. If she goes into the running, Haley will be the first contender to join the contest against her former boss, who is currently the only Republican seeking his party’s 2024 nomination.
Trump was in South Carolina Saturday for the first campaign swing of his 2024 campaign, standing alongside Gov. Henry McMaster — who was serving as Haley’s lieutenant governor — and several GOP members of the state’s delegation, who were part of his early-voting leadership team in the state.
During the Trump administration, Haley has at times feuded with other White House officials while bolstering her own public persona. Her departure in 2018 fueled speculation that she would challenge Trump in 2020 or replace Vice President Mike Pence on the ticket, but Haley didn’t do either.
Instead, Haley returned to South Carolina, where she bought a house on Kiawah Island, joined the board of directors of aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co., and joined the panel, reportedly demanding fees of up to $200,000. She has written two books, a step many en route to the White House habitually take.
After the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, Haley initially expressed doubts about Trump’s political future but said she will not challenge him in 2024.
In 2021, Haley told The Associated Press that she “wouldn’t run if President Trump did,” but she’s since changed course, increasing activity through her nonprofit and political action committee, Stand for America, and supporting dozens of candidates in the Halftime 2022 supports elections.
Late last year, during a visit to her alma mater, Haley told an audience at Clemson University that she was “taking the holidays” to consider a run.
When asked why she was considering a run now, despite her comments for 2021, Haley told Fox News “a lot has changed,” citing among other things the economic woes in the US.
She went on to say she felt she could be part of a “new generational shift,” an indirect reference to Trump’s advanced age.
In South Carolina, Trump told WIS-TV on Saturday that Haley called him a few days earlier for his opinion. Trump referenced her previous promise not to run against him, but said he made no attempts to stop her.
“She said she would never run against me because I’m the greatest president, but people change their minds and they change what’s in their hearts,” Trump said. “So I said if your heart wants to do it, you gotta do it.”