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Trump’s campaign rival decides between voting for him or Biden

Former U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, in her first public comments since announcing the end of her 2024 Republican White House campaign, said she will vote for former President Trump in his 2024 rematch with President Biden.

Haley, who was Trump’s last rival in the GOP primaries before suspending her campaign more than two months ago, and who has not endorsed the former president, was asked during a question-and-answer session following her address Tuesday at a conservative think tank in the nation’s capital whether Biden or Trump was stronger on national security issues.

‘Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I have made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So, I will be voting for Trump,’ Haley said.

But Haley, who continues to grab up to 20% of the vote in Republican presidential primaries two months after ending her bid, said ‘Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me.’

Haley launched her presidential campaign in February last year, becoming the first major candidate to challenge Trump, who had announced his candidacy three months earlier. She was the final rival to Trump, battling the former president in a contentious two-candidate showdown from the New Hampshire primary in late January through Super Tuesday in early March.

Haley announced that she was suspending her White House campaign on March 6, the day after Trump swept 14 of 15 GOP nominating contests on Super Tuesday.

However, Haley made it clear when she left the Republican presidential nomination race that she intended to keep speaking out.

And to date, Haley has declined to endorse Trump.

‘It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,’ Haley said as she got out of the race two months ago.

The Biden campaign, reacting to Haley’s comments regarding Trump, continued to make a pitch for Haley supporters.

‘Nothing has changed for the millions of Republican voters who continue to cast their ballots against Donald Trump in the primaries and care deeply about the future of our democracy, standing strong with our allies against foreign adversaries, and working across the aisle to get things done for the American people – while also rejecting the chaos, division and violence that Donald Trump embodies,’ Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement. ‘Only one candidate shares those values, and only one campaign is working hard every day to earn their support – and that’s President Biden’s.’

During her speech on Wednesday, Haley targeted Biden and Republicans in Congress, but she didn’t mention Trump by name.

Instead, Haley said that ‘a growing number of Democrats and Republicans have forgotten what makes America safe.’

Haley made her comments as she gave her first address at the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank known for focusing on international affairs and national security.

Haley – who during her White House run advocated a muscular U.S. foreign policy to deal with global hot spots such as the war between Russia and Ukraine and the fighting between Israel and Hamas, which was often in stark contrast with Trump’s America First agenda of keeping the nation out of international entanglements – joined the institute a month ago as a senior adviser.

‘A loud part of each party wants us to abandon our allies, appease our enemies and focus only on the problems we have at home. They believe that if we leave the world alone, the world will leave us alone. They even say ignoring global chaos will somehow make our country more secure,’ Haley said.

And she warned that ‘this worldview has already put America in great danger, and the threat is mounting by the day. I have always spoken hard truths. If we don’t remember the path to peace, war will come to America, and it will claim countless lives. We have to prevent war. We have to keep Americans safe.’

Haley trained most of her verbal firepower on the Democrat incumbent in the White House.

Pointing to the Biden administration’s recent temporary pause of a shipment of heavy bombs to Israel over concerns that the weapons would be used in attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, where the death toll has reportedly topped 35,000, per the Hamas-run Health Ministry, Haley said, ‘I can hardly imagine a more foolish move than Joe Biden withholding weapons from one of our closest allies. And it comes after more and more Democrats have turned on Israel.’

And she said ‘Joe Biden’s legacy is already clear. He will go down in history as the commander in chief who refused to stop our enemies.’

But Haley also fired away at her own party, saying that ‘just a few weeks before Biden threw Israel to the wolves, many Republicans in Congress tried to push Ukraine off a cliff. All told, 112 House Republicans voted against military aid to Ukraine.’

She said ‘some Republicans lack … clarity when it comes to Ukraine. Russia’s dictator has made it perfectly clear that he won’t stop at Kyiv. He wants to recreate the Soviet Union, and he’s threatened to attack our NATO allies. We are obligated to defend them, and if Russia attacks, American troops will go to war. We must do everything possible to ensure that doesn’t happen.’

During a question-and-answer session after her speech, Haley said she will travel to Israel in the coming weeks.

Haley also said that after ending her campaign, ‘the first thing I did was catch up on my sleep. I quickly got back to running, which I missed during the campaign.’

And she added that she’s spent more time with her parents, her children and her husband, who recently returned from a long military deployment overseas.

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