Updated Mar 6, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"I have no regrets": Nikki Haley suspends presidential campaign

 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to supporters after receiving the endorsement of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu during a Town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on December 12, 2023 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Nikki Haley speaks to supporters during a Town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on Dec. 12 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo: Sophie Park/Getty Images

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley announced Wednesday that she is suspending her presidential bid.

Why it matters: Haley became the first woman to win a GOP presidential primary earlier this month, but her rise in the polls and 11th-hour endorsements were not enough to break former President Trump's commanding lead.

Driving the news: "I am filled with the gratitude for the outpouring of support we've received from all across our great country," Haley said Wednesday.

  • "But the time has now come to suspend my campaign."

What they're saying: Haley congratulated Trump as the likely GOP nominee, but did not endorse the former president.

  • "It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him, and I hope he does that," she said.
  • "At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away."
  • "This is now his time for choosing."

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Haley's plans to suspend her campaign.

Haley's announcement effectively ends the GOP presidential primary and confirms a historic rematch between President Biden and Trump, who is also facing four criminal indictments.

  • Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, also saw a crushing double-digit loss to Trump in her home state. Even after that defeat, she vowed to stay in the race until Super Tuesday.

The big picture: Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who suspended his campaign before the New Hampshire primary, battled to be the top choice for voters looking for an alternative to Trump.

Data: Axios reporting and campaign announcements; Chart: Thomas Oide and Tiffany Herring/Axios
Data: Axios reporting and campaign announcements; Chart: Thomas Oide and Tiffany Herring/Axios

Catch up quick: Haley finished third in the pivotal Iowa caucuses, behind Trump and DeSantis, and she finished second in New Hampshire.

Flashback: Haley, the only woman in the Republican field, announced in February 2023 that she was launching her presidential campaign.

  • On the trail, Haley flexed her foreign policy chops — contrasting herself with Trump's isolationist views — and she tried to find a middle ground on abortion.

Between the lines: Haley had pinned her presidential ambitions on New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, and sought a strong finish there to propel her through the primary.

The bottom line: "I said I wanted Americans to have their voices heard, I have done that. I have no regrets," Haley said.

  • "And although I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Haley's remarks and a graphic showing the presidential candidates.

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