Senator Susan Collins Declines to Endorse Trump Following Haley’s Departure

Credits: USA Today

Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins declined to endorse anyone after Nikki Haley dropped out of the presidential race when The Independent asked the senator on Wednesday.

Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said “I wish she hadn’t,” regarding the former UN Ambassador leaving the race. Ms. Haley dropped out of the presidential race this morning after she only managed to win Vermont on Super Tuesday. Eleven races were called in favor of Donald Trump, who took the stage at Mar-a-Lago to declare victory.

After making no appearance on Tuesday, Haley spoke in Charleston today. “The time has now come to suspend my campaign,” she said. “In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee when our party convention meets in July. I congratulate him, and wish him well,” she said.

Senator Susan Collins (Credits: Bangor Daily News)

But she declined to endorse the former president. “I have always been a conservative Republican and always supported the Republican nominee,” she concluded. “But on this question, as she did on so many others, Margaret Thatcher provided some good advice when she said, ‘Never just follow the crowd. Always make up your own mind.’”

Ms. Collins backed Ms. Haley before she dropped out but declined to endorse either Mr. Trump or President Joe Biden. At a rally in Portland, Maine on Sunday, Ms. Haley praised Ms. Collins’s courage for backing her even as most of her party are supporting Mr. Trump.

“When all the fellas are falling in line, she showed why she’s got a steel spine,” Ms. Haley said, according to USA Today. “Thank you for showing the fellas that you’ve got more balls than them.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump beat Ms. Haley in the Maine Republican presidential primary by a wide margin, winning more than 70 percent of the vote.

Only three members of Congress came out in support of Ms. Haley – Ms. Collins, Ms. Murkowski, and South Carolina Rep Ralph Norman.

More than 30 Senate Republicans have endorsed Mr. Trump, including outgoing Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell – who put out a statement after Ms. Haley dropped out on 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,” he said.

“It should come as no surprise that as the nominee, he will have my support,” Mr. McConnell said of Mr. Trump, despite having not spoken to him for years.

“During his Presidency, we worked together to accomplish great things for the American people including tax reform that supercharged our economy and a generational change of our federal judiciary – most importantly, the Supreme Court.”

Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski endorsed Ms. Haley ahead of Super Tuesday. The Maine senator said the former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor was “extremely well-qualified to serve as our first female president”.

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