Nikki Haley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina who served as United Nations ambassador during the Trump administration, announced on Tuesday that she is running to become the GOP nominee for president of the United States in 2024.
Haley is the second Republican to announce a 2024 presidential run. Her former boss, former President Donald Trump, has also announced that he’s running for the GOP nomination.
“Get excited! Time for a new generation,” Haley said in a tweet featuring a video of her announcement.
Haley’s campaign video relies on appeals to racism within her party’s base. After referencing her Indian heritage at the start of the video, Haley goes on to attack the factual teaching of U.S. history — including the widely acclaimed 1619 Project, which conservatives have cynically attacked as being anti-American.
“Some look at our past as evidence that America’s founding principles are bad. They say the promise of freedom is just made up,” Haley says in her campaign ad. “Some think our ideals are not just wrong, but racist and evil.”
Haley’s comments echo those of other potential GOP candidates, including Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Republicans have increasingly demonized — and restricted — curriculums on racism in U.S. history in recent years, a political strategy that many scholars and activists say is a harbinger of fascism.
Haley currently polls lower than many other potential candidates, including DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom are expected to announce a presidential run. Indeed, a recent Morning Consult poll indicates that Haley has only 3 percent support among GOP-leaning voters, while Trump has 47 percent support and DeSantis has 31 percent.
In 2021, Haley claimed that she wouldn’t challenge Trump if he ran for president in 2024. According to reporting from Forbes, however, Haley recently had a conversation with Trump in which he encouraged her to run.
Haley’s candidacy may be advantageous to Trump, as polling shows he fares better when more candidates are running.
A Monmouth University poll published earlier this month shows a hypothetical matchup between Trump and DeSantis in which the Florida governor defeats Trump by 13 points among GOP voters. But when multiple options are presented — including Pence, Haley and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz— Trump and DeSantis tie, both attaining 33 percent support.
It’s unlikely that Haley will secure the Republican Party’s nomination for president. If she did, however, she’d likely struggle to explain many of her past stances in a general election contest — including her support of Trump, who remains unpopular with the public overall.
Haley has repeatedly refused to condemn Trump’s racism and autocratic tendencies. In a Fox News interview after the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Haley claimed that Trump’s actions were “not great” but didn’t meet the standards for impeachment.
“I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment,” she said, adding that people should “give [Trump] a break” and “move on.”