'Defiant' Haley: Pick Trump and 'We're All Going to Go Down'

As Tuesday's Michigan primary kicks off, Trump's main GOP foe isn't backing down
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2024 10:15 AM CST
'Defiant' Haley: Pick Trump and 'We're All Going to Go Down'
Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event on Monday in Bloomington, Minnesota.   (AP Photo/Adam Bettcher)

Nikki Haley may have lost a major donor, but the Republican presidential candidate is heading into Michigan's primary on Tuesday "defiant," even in the face of a "blowout loss" to former President Trump, per the Wall Street Journal. Haley tells the paper she's continuing her push for the Oval Office because "I'm doing what I think is right. I'm doing what I believe 70% of Americans want me to do." The Journal notes that the ex-South Carolina governor is citing that figure in regard to recent polling that shows 7 out of 10 Americans want something other than a Trump-Biden face-off in November. Haley said basically the same thing during a Sunday interview with USA Today, issuing a warning based on states that have already held their primaries.

"If you look at the early states, 40% [of Republican voters] have rejected Donald Trump," she said. "If you're the Republican technical incumbent, that doesn't bode well for the Republican Party." Polls showed that, as of Tuesday morning, Trump was seeing more than a 55-point lead over Haley in Michigan. But Haley has vowed to stay in the race at least until Super Tuesday on March 5, when more than a dozen states will hold their contests. And she's putting in the work, stumping in Michigan (Trump hasn't been there since Feb. 17) and planning for visits to Colorado, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts in the coming days. The AP notes that in Michigan, her best chances lie in Democratic strongholds in the state, including in Wayne County, where Detroit is located.

Haley cautions what will happen if voters don't heed her warnings and instead pick Trump, who she tells USA Today has turned "the Republican Party into his own personal playpen." "You have to see the writing on the wall, you have to see the hole in the ship," she tells the Journal. "And if you don't see the hole in the ship, we're all going to go down." Haley also notes she's not running for any ulterior motives. "I'm not doing this to be VP," she tells USA Today. "I'm not doing this to be a third-party candidate. I'm not doing this for my political career. I'm doing it truly out of a love of America. And because I'm worried about my kids and everybody else's kids." Meanwhile, President Biden, running unopposed in Michigan, has his own problems. (Here, one take on how Haley could ultimately be hurt by staying in the race. And Politico notes "the end may be near.")

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