If it seemed like the 2024 election was down to just Donald Trump and Joe Biden, think again. Despite trailing Trump by 26 points in her home state of South Carolina, presidential candidate Nikki Haley says, “I'm not going anywhere.”
Her tenacity to stay in the race, even when trailing the Republican front-runner by such a large margin, can be seen as optimistic hope or deep desperation, depending on who you ask. Either way, she's a polarizing candidate, as an increasing number of protesters have shown up at her campaign events due in part to her support for aid to both Ukraine and Israel.
Drums of War
Haley is adamant about her staunch support for the war in Ukraine and Israel's invasion of Gaza. Referring to the war in Ukraine, Haley said in a CNN town hall, “This is a war about freedom, and it's one we have to win. When Ukraine wins, that sends a message to China with Taiwan, it sends a message to Iran that wants to build a bomb, sends a message to North Korea testing ballistic missiles, and it sends a message to Russia that it's over.”
However, she stopped short of offering cash to Ukraine, saying a collaboration with allies would give Ukraine “the equipment and the ammunition to win.”
Her unconditional support of Israel is just as hardline. Speaking about her time as the U.N. Ambassador, she said, “It was never Israel opposing a two-state solution. It was always the Palestinians and Iran opposing a two-state solution. They never wanted that because they wanted to eliminate Israel altogether. Whatever Israel says they feel like will keep them safe, I will support.”
Iran and Syria
Many have questioned Haley's foreign policy stance. As the wars in Ukraine and Israel continue, Haley is after a preemptive strike against Iran and Syria. “The very first strike that hit, you punch, and you punch back hard. What they should be doing is going after every ounce of production of those missiles,” she said on CNBC's Squawk Box. “Wherever those missiles are, you take that out. You go, and you go after the leaders making these decisions.”
She added, “You have to be tough. That doesn't mean starting a war; that actually means preventing war. But when countries see that you're tough and you're serious, they back off. By nature, they back off. Iran knows they can't beat America. They've always known that. But as long as they smell blood in the water, they will keep doing this.”
If you look at statistics on the presidential race, it still seems like a long shot for Haley to win the Republican nomination despite being backed by several Democratic organizations. However, the friction is tangible in her party as Republicans chose Trump in both the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Her numbers are also down against him in South Carolina, so her chance at the Republican nomination dwindles.
X users have a thing or two to say about her recent request for Secret Service protection, especially because she is sometimes actively trailing Trump by double digits.
American taxpayers should NOT be on the hook paying for@NikkiHaley
to receive secret service protection for an absurd vanity run everyone knows is statistically impossible for her to win. She can ask her Democrat donors to get her some rent-a-cops.pic.twitter.com/PPtkWDdWEp
— Donna Marie (@sabback) February 6, 2024
Another user added this post to the social platform:
The families of the innocent people that were killed and lands destroyed at the hands of you and your globalist military industrial complex friends are suffering. You are a war hawk who profits off of war and killing @NikkiHaley pic.twitter.com/BPFALz6mSh
— Jennifer Lynn Lawrence (@JenLawrence21) February 6, 2024
Haley plans to stay in the presidential race through the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24 and Super Tuesday on March 5. On March 5, more than a dozen states will hold their presidential primaries, clearly choosing the candidate they'd prefer to run against President Biden in November. As the following states and territories choose between Trump and Haley, the country's future hangs in the balance.
- North Carolina
- American Samoa
Two Sides of Every Coin
Haley's tune on Trump has taken a 180 in recent years. During his first campaign, she was all for him. She also said she wouldn't run if Trump was running, but records have caught Haley in several lies that sway with the weather depending on who she's talking to. As usual, she's not the only one. Lies have also been part of Trump's strategy in flipping facts on issues.
While Haley sought Secret Service protection to continue her presidential campaign through Super Tuesday, presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. didn't have access to the special protection.
While it is rare for a presidential candidate to qualify for protection from the group that guards the sitting president, Haley hopes she'll be an exception. “When you do something like this, you get threats. It's just the reality,” Haley said at a recent campaign stop in South Carolina. She added that the lack of security hasn't stopped her campaign, although she has needed to “put a few more bodies around us.”