Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, gave what appeared to be her strongest hint yet that she may run for president in 2024—asserting that “sometimes it takes a woman.”
Haley served as former President Donald Trump‘s top diplomat to the United Nations from the outset of his presidency until the end of 2018. The former South Carolina governor, who served in that role from 2011 to 2017, left on good terms with Trump, and the former president said Haley had done “a fantastic job” when her departure was announced nearly three months before the end of her tenure.
Since then, the prominent Republican has criticized Trump in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021, attack against the U.S. Capitol while maintaining what appears to be positive ties with the former president. She’s also worked to reelect incumbent Republican candidates—such Representative Nancy Mace in South Carolina—who Trump condemned and endorsed against.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Haley was asked about the revelations and evidence presented by the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, and whether that factored into her 2024 plans. Previously, the former diplomat said she would not seek the GOP nomination if Trump were to run again.
“I think President Trump will decide for himself if he wants to run again. And the January 6 has been a biased committee from the start, without any one pushing back on the information they have,” she said.
Haley went on to slam so-called “woke culture,” saying the United States needs to “snap out of it.”
“We’ve got enemies trying to come after us and America has been naïve, it’s been weak and it’s been asleep at the wheel,” the Republican continued. “I’m just saying, sometimes it takes a woman. And [former British Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher said, ‘If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.’”
Thatcher was the first woman to serve as the United Kingdom’s head of government, and held that position for more than a decade, from 1979 to 1990.
Hayley then said Republicans should focus on the 2022 midterms for now before giving too much attention to 2024. “And then if there’s a place for me, I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. We’ll see what happens,” she added.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s press office for comment.
The former president has repeatedly teased the possibility of another presidential run in 2024, but has not officially announced a campaign. Meanwhile, a number of other prominent Republicans—such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence—have appeared to position themselves as possible GOP alternatives. Haley’s name has also routinely been floated as a contender.
Last month, Haley gave what many saw as a hint that she could be planning a 2024 run. In a speech at a summit hosted by Christians United for Israel, the former U.N. ambassador criticized President Joe Biden‘s administration for attempting to make a new nuclear deal with Iran.
“Anything Joe Biden signs will all but guarantee that Iran gets the bomb,” she said. “No deal is better than a bad deal. And if this president signs any sort of deal, I’ll make you a promise. The next president will shred it on her first day in office,” the former governor continued, notably referring to the future president as female.
However, in 2021 she said she would not run for her party’s nomination if Trump was in the race.
“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it,” Haley said at the time. “That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”
What the Polls Show
Polls have generally shown that Haley would have an uphill battle for the GOP nomination, although survey data this far out from the primary elections is not necessarily the most accurate indicator of potential success. The current Real Clear Politics average of 2024 GOP presidential primary polls places Haley in a distant fifth place with just 3.8 percent support. She comes in behind Trump, DeSantis, Pence and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Only Trump and DeSantis have double-digit support.
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