Nikki Haley Rules Out ‘No Labels’ Run, Insists She’s Not ‘Anti-Trump’

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
March 2, 20242024 Elections
Nikki Haley Rules Out ‘No Labels’ Run, Insists She’s Not ‘Anti-Trump’
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event at Clemson University at Greenville in Greenville, S.C., on Feb. 20, 2024. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Friday poured cold water on speculation she might run as a third-party No Labels candidate while insisting she’s not “anti-Trump” but is looking for votes from Republicans who want an alternative to the former president.

Ms. Haley made the remarks during a roundtable with reporters in Washington on March 1, casting herself as a “happy warrior” after a series of primary losses to President Trump, while describing her movement as being about “where people want to be heard.”

The former United Nations ambassador was in Washington for a rally, where she gave a stump speech in which she hit familiar points: lamenting America’s ballooning national debt, sounding the alarm over the border crisis, criticizing President Biden for his handling of wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, and decrying the “chaos” associated with President Trump’s legal woes.

She also spoke to reporters at an event held at a hotel in Georgetown, saying she hopes to convince voters she’s someone who can lead the country in a better direction while casting herself as a “pro-America” candidate who’s an alternative to the former president.

“Everybody pretty much assumes that this is an anti-Trump movement, and it is actually not,” she said. “This is a movement where people want to be heard.”

While Ms. Haley insisted she’s not anti-Trump, she took several pokes at the former president, suggesting he’s fixated on retaliation and on keeping the Republican Party tightly in his grip.

“When Donald Trump said anybody who supports me is barred permanently from MAGA,” she said, “that is saying, ‘if you’re not with me, you’re against me.’”

She said she wants to help the Republican Party expand its appeal to more moderate voters who may recoil from President Trump’s tough-talking style of politics which she suggested fuels division.

“This is about the fact that I think America is better than this. And I think that the Republican Party is better than this, and I think we can do more than this,” she said.

No Labels ‘Smoke Signals’

Ms. Haley also addressed speculation about whether she would consider running for president on the No Label third-party ticket as President Trump gets closer to securing the Republican nomination with each primary win while her hopes get dimmer.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, co-chair of No Labels, said in January that Ms. Haley should be seriously considered as a candidate for the unity ticket.

“I think I’m speaking for a lot of No Labels members,” Mr. Lieberman said at the time. “Gov. Haley would deserve serious consideration. But that’s a decision for her to make, and it’s not an easy one. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

At the time, Ms. Haley’s team said she had “no interest in No Labels” and that she was content to run on the Republican ticket.

At the Washington roundtable with reporters, Ms. Haley addressed the matter of running as a No Labels candidate, saying her priorities and those of the group are misaligned.

“I know that they have sent, like, smoke signals that they want me to talk to them, but I’m a Republican,” she said.

“If I were to do No Labels, that would require a Democratic vice president. I can’t do what I want to do as president with a Democratic vice president,” she added.

There have been reports indicating that Nancy Jacobson, the CEO of No Labels, has privately told donors that the group was looking to field a Republican candidate for president and a Democrat for vice president.

Ms. Haley elaborated on why she believes she couldn’t accomplish her objectives with a Democrat vice president, including differences over the role and size of the federal government and foreign policy.

“I want to shrink the size of government and get it efficient again,” she said. “I want to make sure that we get our kids reading again by putting more of those federal funds pushing it down to the state level—from education to health care to welfare and mental health, I want to take all of that out of D.C. and send it to the states. I can’t do that with a Democratic vice president.”

Ms. Haley added that she wants to “make sure we do peace through strength,” adding that she doesn’t know if her foreign policy priorities would agree with those of a Democrat vice president in this regard.

She also revealed that her campaign had raised $12 million in February, roughly $4 million less than in January.

Ms. Haley said her campaign has enough money to continue for now, and vowed to stay in the race until at least Super Tuesday on March 5.

For his part, President Trump was asked on Feb. 20 whether he thought Ms. Haley would run as a No Labels candidate.

“We’ve had enough of her,” President Trump replied.

Earlier, President Trump said he most likely wouldn’t pick Ms. Haley as a running mate if he wins the Republican nomination.

“She is not presidential timber,” President Trump said at a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on Jan. 19. “Now, when I say that, that probably means that she’s not going to be chosen as the vice president.”

From The Epoch Times

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