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Haley Suspends Campaign as Biden, Trump Move Toward 2024 Rematch

Written by on March 6, 2024

Nikki Haley, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s last remaining challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, suspended her campaign Wednesday after he defeated her decisively in Super Tuesday party primary elections across the country.

Haley, Trump’s one-time United Nations ambassador, congratulated Trump but did not endorse him. But she acknowledged the almost certain likelihood that he will be the Republican standard bearer in the November 5 election against President Joe Biden, who also swept to victories over token opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic party primaries.

Haley said she wished Trump well but said it was up to him “to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him.”

She often won a quarter to more than 40% of the vote in party primaries against Trump but captured only two contests since voting started in January, in Washington, D.C., last weekend, and in the small northeastern state of Vermont on Tuesday.

Trump, on his social media site, said “Nikki Haley got TROUNCED last night, in record setting fashion, despite the fact that Democrats, for reasons unknown, are allowed to vote in Vermont, and various other Republican Primaries.”

Biden, already looking to grab some of Haley’s votes in the national election eight months from now, said in a statement, “Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters. I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign.

“I know there is a lot we won’t agree on. But on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, on preserving NATO and standing up to America’s adversaries, I hope and believe we can find common ground.”

Haley said she had no regrets about running for president and said she would continue to speak out on public issues, immediately noting it is “a moral imperative” for Congress to approve more aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

But continued assistance for the Kyiv government’s fight against Russia’s two-year invasion of Ukraine has divided Republican lawmakers and an aid package favored by Biden, almost all Democratic lawmakers and a sizeable group of Republicans has stalled.

Democratic lawmakers have solidly lined up to support Biden’s reelection, and most Republicans have weighed in for Trump as well.

One key lawmaker, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, often at odds with Trump during his presidency from 2017 to 2021, said Wednesday, “It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States. It should come as no surprise that as [the] nominee, he will have my support.”

The 52-year-old Haley, a former South Carolina governor, had for months told voters that it was time for the U.S. to elect a new generation of leaders. She contended that neither Trump at 77 nor Biden, 81, was fit to run the country in a new four-year term starting next January.

But Trump, even as he faces an unprecedented four criminal indictments encompassing 91 charges, holds large support among his Republican followers. He easily defeated Haley in 14 of 15 states that held party presidential nominating elections in the Super Tuesday voting.

Biden was equally as dominant in Democratic contests, losing only in a party caucus in the U.S. territory American Samoa.

Neither Trump nor Biden officially clinched their respective Republican and Democratic presidential nominations for the November election but are on track to do so in party primaries in other states in the next few weeks. Both would then be officially nominated at national party conventions this summer.

But the voting Tuesday unofficially set off what will be one of the longest U.S. presidential campaigns ever, eight months ahead of Election Day.

In a statement, Biden said Tuesday’s “results leave the American people with a clear choice: Are we going to keep moving forward or will we allow Donald Trump to drag us backwards into the chaos, division, and darkness that defined his term in office?

“My message to the country is this: Every generation of Americans will face a moment when it has to defend democracy,” Biden said. “Stand up for our personal freedom. Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights. To every Democrat, Republican, and independent who believes in a free and fair America: This is our moment. This is our fight. Together, we will win.”

Trump said on his social media platform, “TOGETHER, WE are going to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, GREATER than EVER BEFORE!

“November 5th is going to go down as the single most important day in the HISTORY of our COUNTRY!,” he exclaimed. “We are going to win this election, because we have no choice … if we lose the election, we’re not going to have a Country left!”

Trump won the presidency in 2016 but lost his reelection bid to Biden in 2020 and to this day falsely says he was cheated out of another term in the White House by voting and vote-counting irregularities.

He also is facing the four criminal indictments, dozens of them related to his efforts to upend his 2020 election loss.

While three of his trials have been delayed, one of them starts March 25 in a New York state court, where he is accused of hiding a hush money payment to a porn star just ahead of the 2016 election to keep her from talking about a one-night tryst she claims to have had with him a decade earlier.

Trump has denied the affair, as well as all 91 charges he faces.

Trump’s victories Tuesday included contests in the populous states of Texas and California, and also in Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Virginia and North Carolina. He rolled up huge margins against Haley in state after state.

The Republican Party holds its convention in July, with the Democratic Party following in August.

National polling currently shows Trump with a narrow edge nationally over Biden and in several key battleground states that are likely to determine the national outcome.

In the U.S., the national popular vote does not determine the presidential winner. Rather, the contest is decided in the Electoral College, with the vote winner in each of the 50 states getting that state’s electoral votes. The largest states have the most electoral votes and thus hold the most sway in the national outcome.

Biden will be in the spotlight Thursday night when he gives his annual State of the Union address before Congress and a national television audience.

He is expected to tout the U.S. economic advance during his three-plus years in office, although polls show many Americans do not think he has managed the economy very well and often complain about higher prices for groceries, the one consumer item that affects everyone.

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