Feb 27, 2024 - Politics & Policy

“Suicide for our country”: Nikki Haley goes scorched earth on Trump

BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA - FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on February 26, 2024 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Minnesota holds its primary election on March 5

Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event on Feb. 26 in Bloomington, Minn. Photo: David Berding/Getty Images

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed former President Trump in a Wall Street Journal interview published Tuesday, warning that if he clinches the nomination, the GOP could lose in November.

Why it matters: Haley has repeatedly cited Trump's general election vulnerabilities as a reason for staying in the race despite having no clear path to win the Republican nomination.

  • "This may be his survival mode to pay his legal fees and get out of some sort of legal peril, but this is like suicide for our country," she said of the former president, who faces 91 criminal counts across four cases.
  • "We've got to realize that if we don't have someone who can win a general election, all we are doing is caving to the socialist left."

The big picture: Trump has cruised to victory in every early primary contest, including most recently in Haley's home state of South Carolina, but she has vowed to stay in the race, arguing that voters deserve a choice.

  • "I'm doing what I believe 70% of Americans want me to do," she said, referring to polling that shows that a majority of Americans want an alternative to a Trump-Biden rematch in November.

The other side: "Republican voters have delivered resounding wins for President Trump in every single primary contest and this race is over," Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.

  • "Our focus is now on Joe Biden and the general election."

Between the lines: Haley, who earlier in her campaign committed to backing her party's eventual nominee, ducked re-affirming that commitment during the Journal interview.

  • "What I will tell you is that I have serious concerns about Donald Trump," she said. "I have more serious concerns about Joe Biden."

Go deeper: Trump winning streak extends to South Carolina, Haley "not giving up"

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