She Still Believes: Nikki Haley Insists ‘Momentum’ Is All She Needs to Turn Primary Around

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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Nikki Haley still believes.

The former governor of South Carolina said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday that even if she loses the primary in her home state she does not plan on dropping out of the race. 

“I need to show that I’m building momentum. I need to show that I’m stronger in South Carolina than New Hampshire,” Haley said. “Does that have to be a win? I don’t think that necessarily has to be a win. But it certainly has to be better than what I did in New Hampshire and it certainly has to be close.”

Last week, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called on Haley to end her campaign for president and endorse Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee. 

McDaniel explained:

Looking at the math and the path going forward and I don’t see it for Nicki Haley. I think she ran a great campaign. The message from the voters is clear. We need to unite around our eventual nominee which is going to be Donald Trump. We need to be sure we beat Joe Biden.
It’s 10 months away until the November election. We can’t wait any longer to put our foot on the gas to beat the worst president who kept our borders opened and allowed fentanyl to pour through and allowed rampant inflation.

McDaniel’s comments led to “Meet The Press” anchor Kristen Welker asking Haley whether she felt the RNC had been an “honest broker” in the primary process.

Haley responded: 

Clearly not. If you’re going to go in and basically tell the American people that you’re going to go and decide who the nominee is after only two states have voted, 48 states out there. This is a democracy. The American people want to have their say in who is going to be their nominee. We need to give them that. You can’t do that based on just two states.

I don’t think this is the place of the RNC to do it. I think that Trump overstepped when he pushed them to do it. And I think that’s why he’s had to back down.

The 52-year-old also stepped up her attacks on Donald Trump in recent weeks, accusing his team of exercising pressure on the RNC to declare him the nominee and pay his legal bills:

We know exactly the people that pushed it are his people. And I know that during the debates, he was pushing Ronna McDaniel to stop the debates. He was calling her every other day. He’s been pushing them to pay for his lawsuits and all of these other things.
I’ve never stayed in this race because of court cases. Look, he’s insecure. He’s threatened. He sees what’s happening and he knows these court cases are going to take him further and further away from the campaign trail.

Despite her brave face and arguably legitimate grievances about the behavior of Ronna McDaniel, Haley’s chances of defeating Donald Trump for the GOP nomination increasingly appear close to zero. 

After coming in third behind Ron DeSantis in Iowa and losing to Trump in New Hampshire, Haley is now counting on a strong performance in her home state to turn things around. 

Yet, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average, she trails Trump by over 30 points in South Carolina, while Trump holds a staggering 58-point lead nationally. 

Some might people say it is time to cut her losses, although it appears for now that Haley is not among them. 

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