Though speculation about the presidential field for the next election cycle has already begun, one notable potential contender is reportedly waiting for a key piece of information before formally throwing her hat in the ring.
According to Breitbart, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters on Monday that she would not launch a bid for the 2024 Republican nomination if former President Donald Trump decides to run himself.
During an event in South Carolina, Haley was asked by a reporter from the Associated Press whether she would support a Trump candidacy, should he decide to mount one, and she responded in the affirmative, adding, “I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it. That’s something we’ll have a conversation about at some point, if that decision is something that has to be made.”
The former ambassador also touted the “great working relationship” she had with Trump during his tenure in the Oval Office, saying, “I thought we did some fantastically great foreign policy things together, and look, I want to just keep building on what we accomplished and not let it get torn down.”
Haley’s comments come on the heels of events which led to speculation of a serious rift with the former president, including remarks made in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots in which she told Politico that Trump “let [Republicans] down,” and “we shouldn’t have followed him and we shouldn’t have listened to him.” Reports subsequently emerged that Trump later declined a request from Haley for an in-person meeting at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Since leaving Washington, the former president has weighed in on a number of hot button political issues including the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis and the decision by Major League Baseball to pull its All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s election integrity law, in what some see as signs that he has no intention of departing the public stage anytime soon.
Indeed, the former president has seemingly taken delight in teasing his possible return to the presidential stakes, telling the crowd at February’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), “Who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” in an apparent reference to mounting another campaign for the White House.
While Trump’s ultimate decision on whether to seek another term in the Oval Office remains unknown, the fundraising success of his Save America PAC is a strong indicator of his desire to at the very least play something of a kingmaking role within the GOP. According to Fox News, the PAC already has $85 million cash on hand in advance of the pivotal 2022 midterm elections, which will almost certainly be used to recruit and support Republican candidates in line with Trump’s own policy positions.
Haley’s reluctance to enter the 2024 electoral fray until Trump’s intentions are known is a telling acknowledgment that the outsize influence retained by the former president among conservative voters continues to be a force with which all potential Republican hopefuls must carefully reckon.