Nikki Haley announces run for US president in 2024

Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and Donald Trump’s one-time ambassador to the UN, has become the first Republican to challenge the former president for the party’s nomination for president in 2024.

Haley announced her candidacy for president in a video posted on social media platforms on Tuesday morning. In the three-minute video, Haley, 51, did not mention Trump by name, but said it was “time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose”.

Haley’s team said she would deliver an “announcement speech” in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday. She is expected to then hit the campaign trail with town-hall style meetings with voters in New Hampshire and Iowa, two crucial early-voting states.

Haley’s campaign video emphasised her small-town upbringing as the daughter of Indian immigrants in Bamberg, South Carolina, and her experience as the state’s first female governor and as Trump’s ambassador to the UN. She warned that China and Russia were “on the march” and “think we can be bullied”.

“You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies,” Haley said in the video. “And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”

Republican elected officials and deep-pocketed donors have increasingly called for the party to find a new standard-bearer after it underperformed expectations and several of Trump’s handpicked candidates came up short in last November’s midterm elections.

But Haley faces an uphill battle if she is going to gain traction in what will probably be a crowded field of competitors, and at a time when Trump still commands the support of a plurality of the Republican party’s base of grassroots voters.

A poll conducted last month by North Star Opinion Research, a Republican polling company, found that in a hypothetical 10-way ballot, Florida governor Ron DeSantis led with 39 per cent of the vote, followed by Trump on 28 per cent, former vice-president Mike Pence on 9 per cent, and Haley and former congresswoman Liz Cheney on 4 per cent each.

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