Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley expressed her concerns about the Republican National Committee (RNC) not acting as an “honest broker” in the 2024 contest, particularly in light of RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s prompt declaration of former President Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee after his victory in the New Hampshire primary.
In an interview with NBC’s Kristen Welker on “Meet The Press,” Haley responded to the RNC’s push for party unity around Trump before the closure of polls in New Hampshire, emphasizing the importance of allowing the democratic process to unfold naturally.
She stated, “If you’re going to go in and tell the American people that you’re going to go and decide who the nominee is after only two states have voted… This is a democracy. The American people want to have their say in who will be their nominee. We need to give them that.”
Highlighting that, despite Trump’s wins in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the majority of delegates for the nomination are yet to be claimed, Haley urged patience, noting, “It’s 1,215 delegates to reach the nomination. Donald Trump has 32; I have 17. So let’s let this play out.”
Following Trump’s victory in New Hampshire, McDaniel urged Republicans to unite around Trump, asserting that he is the eventual nominee and encouraging Haley to heed the voters’ message.
However, Haley questioned the rush to declare a presumptive nominee, stating, “I think that Americans want to be able to make this decision themselves. I don’t think this is the place for the RNC to do it.
I think that Trump overstepped when he pushed them to do it, which is why he’s had to back down. And that was the right thing to do was to back down.”
Trump had previously hinted at the possibility of Haley dropping out before the New Hampshire primary, though he claimed to be indifferent to her decision.
A proposed RNC resolution declaring Trump the presumptive nominee was swiftly withdrawn after facing opposition from the former president and others. CNN reported that Trump and his campaign initially approved the effort.
Haley emphasized the significance of allowing the American people to participate in the decision-making process regarding the Republican nominee.
She criticized the idea that the RNC should prematurely determine the nominee and suggested that Trump’s intervention in pushing for such a resolution was an overstep, ultimately leading to its withdrawal. In Haley’s view, allowing the democratic process to unfold naturally is essential, ensuring voters play a central role in determining their party’s nominee.