Nikki Haley backs out of RNC pledge to back the primary winner

 March 4, 2024

Nikki Haley backed out of a pledge to back the GOP's eventual nominee for president, raising questions about her intentions as rival Donald Trump closes in on an early and decisive primary win.

During an interview with Meet The Press, Haley claimed she is no longer obligated to support Trump because circumstances have changed, with the primary narrowed down to just two candidates.

"I think I’ll make the decision I want to make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about,” she said.

Haley backs out...

Trump never took the pledge, but it's likely to be of little consequence given his all but certain primary victory.

The pledge was a requirement to participate in the GOP's televised debates, which Trump skipped.

He has steamrolled the competition since voting began in January.

Trump recently endorsed a trio of loyalists, including his own daughter-in-law, to take control of the Republican National Committee (RNC), with chairwoman Ronna McDaniel headed for the exit. Haley cited the change in leadership as one reason for not abiding by the RNC's loyalty pledge.

“The RNC is now not the same RNC,” she said.

What is Haley's end game?

Haley seemed to leave the door open to endorsing Trump down the line, but she said it would be premature for her to discuss the issue now.

“If you talk about an endorsement, you’re talking about a loss. I don’t think like that when you’re in a race. You don’t think about losing. You think about continuing to go forward,” she said.

Trump's other high-profile challengers have endorsed him, including Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis.

Haley lost decisively to Trump in her own home state of South Carolina last month. Her obstinate and seemingly fruitless fight with Trump has won praise from liberals and backlash from Republicans who accuse her of being a saboteur.

It's unclear what her plans are beyond Super Tuesday, the biggest voting day of the primary season. But she told NBC she would stay in the race for as long as possible.

“I’ve always said this needs to be competitive. As long as we are competitive, as long as we are showing that there is a place for us, I’m going to continue to fight,” Haley said.

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