Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley became the second Republican of the 2024 cycle to declare for the presidency, announcing her candidacy in a video Tuesday morning.
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership – to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose. Some people look at America and see vulnerability. The socialist left sees an opportunity to rewrite history. China and Russia are on the march. They all think we can be bullied. Kicked around. You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” she said.
Haley served in the South Carolina legislature from 2005-11 and as governor from 2011-17, when former President Donald Trump tapped her to serve as Ambassador to the United Nations. She held the position from 2017-18, when she stepped down to launch her advocacy group Stand for America. Through the group, Haley endorsed 62 candidates at the state and federal level during the 2021 and 2022 election cycles. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Nikki Haley Becomes Latest Republican To Endorse Dr. Oz)
A former Trump critic, Haley endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio during the 2016 GOP primaries. After her time at the UN, however, some operatives and reporters speculated that Haley would replace Mike Pence as Trump’s vice president. Haley was effusive in her praise of the former president after leaving the administration, telling the Wall Street Journal in October 2021, “I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.”
Haley initially said that she would not challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination if he decided to amount a third bid. She began to slowly walk that pledge back after Republicans under-performed in the 2022 midterms, when several candidates endorsed by Trump in crowded primaries failed to win competitive general election races.
“When you’re looking at a run for president, you look at two things,” she told Fox News’ Bret Baier in January. “You first look at does the current situation push for new leadership? The second question is am I that person who could be that new leader? Yes, we need to go in a new direction. Can I be that leader? Yes, I think I can be that leader.”
Haley will formally launch her campaign at a Wednesday event in Charleston, South Carolina. She will then travel to Iowa and New Hampshire.