Former President Donald Trump was the first person to throw his hat in the ring ahead of the upcoming presidential election — and he is apparently not afraid of a little competition.
After taking on a crowded GOP primary field to become the 2016 nominee, several prominent Republican names are currently being discussed as possible rivals in the 2024 campaign. So far, it seems that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who subsequently served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, is among the closest to formally entering the race.
Insiders say she has been putting the pieces in place for months and will likely confirm her decision in the near future. Supporters have reportedly begun to receive invitations to an event on Feb. 15 in Charleston, South Carolina, that will include a “special announcement.”
Despite declaring in 2021 that she “would not run if President Trump ran,” she has reportedly changed her mind. Trump confirmed that Haley called him to express her interest in exploring a campaign.
Trump posts a video of Nikki Haley promising not to run for president in 2024 if Trump runs. pic.twitter.com/uE5JtVF72X
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) February 1, 2023
“I said, ‘You should do it,’” he told reporters on Saturday. “I talked to her for a little while. I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run.’”
Without offering specifics, Haley has dropped clues about her presidential ambitions in recent interviews. Earlier this year, she referenced her own perceived qualifications for the job.
“Well, when you’re looking at a run for president, you look at two things,” she said. “You first look at, does the current situation push for new leadership? The second question is, am I that person that could be that new leader?”
She went on to assert her belief that she “can be that leader.”
Haley also seemed to reference her age as a positive factor, adding: “I think it’s time for new generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to be a leader in D.C. … I think we need a young generation to come in, step up, and really start fixing things.”
If and when she does enter the race, polls show that she will have some work to do.
A recent Trafalgar Group survey asked respondents which of the likely GOP presidential candidates they would consider voting for in a primary. Trump was the clear winner, garnering 43.4% support. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second place with 27.8%, followed by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) at 14.3%
Haley finished fourth, attracting support from 11.6% of respondents.