SALEM, New Hampshire — Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley on Tuesday offered a small glimpse of her strategy to defeat the only other Republican to formally announce their 2024 candidacy: former President Donald Trump.
Speaking at a town hall event in Salem, New Hampshire, Haley indicated that his former boss has about a quarter of the Republican base in his corner, calling it a “hard 25%.”
“There’s another 75% of Republicans who are looking for a place to stay,” Haley replied when a voter asked how he planned to defeat Trump. He added that he does not plan to hold “big rallies” in his campaign.
“You have to go and answer the tough questions,” Haley said. “You have to face it. You can’t fly and fly. And I believe the American people want you to get their vote. I don’t think they’re going to give it.”
M via Getty Images. Scott Brower/Bloomberg
Haley served as US ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, resigning in 2018. Before that, he spent six years as governor of South Carolina. He argued that the polls are volatile, targeting two candidates who failed to campaign in 2016: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
“Today’s election will not be the same election,” Haley said. “They were a year ago. If you need an example, do I need to remind you of Jeb Bush? He had a lot of money. Do I need to remind you of my friend Scott Walker? He was ‘Teflon Scott.’ .”
In 2021, Haley told The Associated Press that she “would not run” against Trump if he sought the nomination. However, Trump revealed last month that he encouraged Haley to run when he told her he was going to call her. Announce his bid.
“I said, ‘You should do it,'” Trump told reporters in February. “I talked to him for a while. I said, ‘Look, you know, if you want to run, go with your heart.’
Haley also commented on Monday mass shooting At a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, six people, including three children, were killed.
“We don’t want to see that happen,” Haley said. “How much longer is this country going to ignore mental health? It’s a cancer, and it’s killing our kids.”
This marked Haley’s second set of comments about the genocide. At a town hall in Dover, New Hampshire, on Monday, Haley argued that schools should require metal detectors.
“It’s okay if there are metal detectors,” Haley said. “There are those guests coming in and out. Kids see them at the airport, they see them everywhere they go. Why don’t we do that to protect those kids?”
Nashville police said the shooter was armed with at least two assault-style rifles and a handgun.
“Everybody wants to talk about gun control,” Haley said. “My thing is, I don’t want to take away the ability to protect myself until they do the things that protect those kids.”
— Aaron Navarro and Finn Gomez contributed to this report.