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Nikki Haley announces 2024 candidacy: What has she said about former President Trump?

The former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor has positioned herself as the GOP candidate for “generational change”.

Trump critic Nikki Haley announces 2024 run for president
Kevin LamarqueREUTERS

For the past two months former President Donald Trump has been the lone Republican candidate to announce for next year’s presidential election. That changed on Tuesday when Nikki Haley, formerly an ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, announced her candidacy for 2024.

In recent months Haley had dropped countless hints in television interviews and public appearances. She has announced her candidacy ahead of other challengers like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving her extra time to fundraise and built her profile nationally.

The former South Carolina governor said in her announcement video that she hopes to provide “generational change” within the Republican party. Haley added: “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.”

What has Nikki Haley said about Trump?

In announcing her as his pick for UN ambassador back in 2016, Trump described Haley as “a proven deal-maker, and we look to be making plenty of deals.” He added that she had a “track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation.”

Haley served as Trump’s UN ambassador for two years before leaving the administration, saying that she wanted a break from high level politics. She received warm praise from Trump upon announcing her departure but has become a fairly vocal critic of the former President since leaving. In an interview with Politico just weeks after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, she said that Trump was to blame for the violence that unfolded.

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

She added that she believed Trump had “lost any sort of political viability” and that he was not a realistic option for the Republican nomination in 2024.

Haley positions herself as candidate for change

In recent appearances she has largely steered clear of any explicit references to her former boss. However the announcement video released on Tuesday did attempt to position her as a fresh face in Washington politics and contrasted her to the age of both Trump and President Biden.

“When you’re looking at the future of America, I think it’s time for new generational change. I don’t think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in DC,” she told Fox News last month. “I think we need a young generation to come in, step up, and really start fixing things.”

In Tuesday’s announcement video she even took a swipe at Trump’s election record, as part of a broader trend among GOP presidential candidates.

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections,” she said. “That has to change.”