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Trump announces Nikki Haley will NOT be VP

By Mandy Donalds
January 21, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has come forward to explicitly state that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will not be his choice for vice president.

During a rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday, Trump said, "She is OK, but she is not presidential timber, and when I say that, that probably means she is not going to be chosen as the vice president," as Newsmax reported.

Trump added, "When you say certain things, it sort of takes them out of play, right? I can't say, 'She's not of the timber to be the vice president' and then say, 'Ladies and gentleman, I'm proud to announce that I've picked ..."

Haley, however, has previously stated that she has no intention of becoming anyone's vice president, firmly asserting that such a possibility is "off the table."

Escalating Critiques of GOP Challengers

The former president has recently intensified his criticism of Haley, especially after her third-place finish in the Iowa primary.

He expressed doubts about her capabilities, stating, "She's not tough enough, she's not smart enough, and she wasn't respected enough. She cannot do this job."

Trump has consistently dismissed the possibility of any 2024 GOP primary challengers, including Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as potential vice-presidential picks.

A few weeks earlier, at a rally in Iowa, Trump cautioned GOP voters against Haley and DeSantis, suggesting they would betray primary voters just as they had distanced themselves from him.

Surging Support for Trump in the GOP Race

Despite the narrowed field in the GOP primary race, Trump has secured endorsements from various former challengers, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott from South Carolina.

While Trump has previously ruled out the 2024 GOP debate candidates as potential VP picks, these endorsements, particularly Scott's, have sparked intrigue.

Scott's presence at the Concord rally was significant, as he officially endorsed Trump there. "By the way, I'm leading her by over 50 points, so I don't care what the hell kind of job she does — in South Carolina," Trump mentioned before inviting Scott to deliver his endorsement.

The senator's support, especially in Haley's home state, could be particularly impactful.

The Road to the South Carolina Primary

Trump also humorously referenced his decision to appoint Haley as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, suggesting it was a move to promote Henry McMaster to the governorship in the crucial state of South Carolina.

With South Carolina next on the GOP primary schedule, Scott's endorsement might further strengthen Trump's position over Haley and DeSantis, the latter of whom has shifted his campaign focus to South Carolina.

Trump, reflecting on his campaign strategy, said, "When I was in Iowa last week, I'd made a lot of different stops and speeches and everything — every time … I said, 'Just, you know, don't believe the polls' because it had us up 40 or 50 points or so."

He emphasized the importance of margins in the election, hinting at his confidence in outperforming his competitors.

Trump also commented on DeSantis's position in the race, questioning, "I don't even talk about DeSanctus — whatever happened to him? Well — no –– a poll just came out: DeSanctus is at 4 [%]. What happened to this guy? One of the great self-destructions I think I've ever witnessed."