Nikki Haley has withdrawn from the presidential race

Nikki Haley announced (6.3.24) that she is withdrawing from the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and thus Donald Trump remains the only candidate. Haley refrained from expressing support for Trump and even said that he should work to get her supporters to vote for him in the November election against Joe Biden.

“Donald Trump must now win the votes of those in the party who did not support him, and I hope he will succeed. Now is the time for him to choose,” Haley said in a short speech in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. She described Trump as an aging man, who is mentally unstable, creates chaos, is unable to respect the soldiers and veterans and is not willing to be loyal to the Constitution.

Haley also pointed to considerable differences of opinion between her and Trump, when she stated that she supports reducing the federal deficit, limiting the terms of office of elected officials and short-sighted foreign countries that include aid to Ukraine. “We must unite as Americans. We must distance ourselves from the darkness of hatred and factionalism. I will continue to promote these values,” she added. Haley’s words stood in contrast to those of the other contestants who retired, led by the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and who were quick to express support for Trump.

Biden responded to the retirement by saying: “Trump made it clear that he does not want Haley’s supporters. I want to make it clear: they have a place in my campaign. On the basic issues of preserving American democracy, standing up for the right, the rule of law, an attitude of respect and fairness towards others, preservation of Nat” And standing up against the enemies of the USA – I hope and believe that we can find a common denominator.”

Trump did not respond to Haley’s call to lower the flames: he called “all of Haley’s supporters to join the largest movement in history”, without congratulating Haley – as is customary – on the campaign she ran and without offering concessions that would attract her supporters. Instead, Trump mocked Haley for her losses: “She was a record-breaking jerk last night.”

The 52-year-old Haley was the governor of South Carolina from 2011-2017 and stepped down to serve as the US ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, a position she held for two years. In her race for the party’s nomination, she first focused on the fact that Trump is too old to be re-elected (age 77) and argued that the reins should be passed to the next generation of the party. In recent weeks, she intensified the attacks on Trump, his character and his past.

Trump has defeated Haley by tens of percentage points in all primary elections so far – including in the state of New Hampshire, which is considered more moderate and was seen as Haley’s best chance to gain momentum, and including in South Carolina (as mentioned, her home state). Yesterday, “Super Tuesday”, Trump defeated Haley by an average margin of 45 points. Haley won only twice – in the city of Washington and yesterday in the state of Vermont. To win the party’s nomination, 1,215 delegates are needed at the conference to be held in July; Trump has close to 1,000, and Haley – only 89. Trump is expected to reach the required number in two weeks, so the fight has already been decided.

An important question ahead of the November election, between Trump and Biden, is what Haley’s supporters, considered moderate Republicans who disapprove of Trump’s style, some of his positions and especially his legal entanglements, will do. The question is particularly relevant in the key states where, according to estimates, the elections will be decided and where Trump currently leads over Biden by a few points: Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If Haley’s supporters vote for Biden or even don’t come to vote at all, and do so in significant numbers, it could have a real impact on the results.

At the same time, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, announced his support for Trump in the presidential elections. McConnell has been at the caucus — as majority or minority leader — for 17 years, the longest in Senate history. He announced that he would retire from the position after the elections, although he would complete his term until 2027 (when he will be 85 years old). McConnell helped Trump implement his agenda in his previous term, especially in the area of ​​appointing judges to the Supreme Court and federal courts.

After the events of January 6, McConnell criticized Trump particularly harshly and blamed him for the storming of his supporters on the Capitol; His wife, Eileen Chu, resigned from the post of transportation secretary in the Trump administration. However, now McConnell – the “tribal elder” of the party and the last of the Reagan-Bush era – has returned to support Trump and thus largely symbolizes Trump’s complete takeover of it.

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