Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has clear ambitions to take up former President Donald Trump’s mantle in 2024, but she might have a bit of a problem.
After blasting her former boss as a political dead weight, Haley apparently sought a meeting to curry favor with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. His answer, according to reports, was a curt “no.”
Trump turns Haley down
Trump turned Haley away Wednesday when she requested a meeting in Palm Beach, where he has been residing since leaving the White House, Politico’s Playbook first reported.
According to The Hill, the former president met recently with two of the GOP’s top leaders in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA), but Haley apparently wasn’t so lucky.
Haley had aligned closely with Trump during his presidency, but the former UN ambassador has been one of his loudest critics within the Republican fold in recent weeks as a civil war of sorts has broken out over the party’s future.
She all but called on conservatives to give up on Trump in a recent Politico profile, saying the former president lacked any “viability” and will find himself “further and further isolated” since the recent Capitol riot that figured into a second impeachment.
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far… 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.”
“It’s common sense”
But Trump has made clear that he has no plans of leaving politics, and he remains the dominant figure in the GOP.
The former president is threatening primary challenges to keep his populist movement alive against a GOP establishment seeking to clamp down and regain its power, with Trump recently going on the attack against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who he called an “unsmiling political hack” unfit to lead.
It looks like Trump isn’t much fonder of Haley — and it’s far from certain that he won’t run in 2024 himself, despite Haley’s belief that he’s finished.
After she was refused a chance to kiss the ring, Haley published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal trying to thread the needle of her past Trump support with her current position — and blaming the media for pitting pro- and anti-Trump conservatives against each other.
“Here’s my take: Most of Mr. Trump’s major policies were outstanding and made America stronger, safer, and more prosperous,” she wrote. “Many of his actions since the election were wrong and will be judged harshly by history. That’s not a contradiction. It’s common sense.”