Haley vows to ‘never give up’ as she makes final push ahead of South Carolina primary

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GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley told prospective voters at a rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Sunday she “will never give up” on her bid for commander in chief as long as 70% of Americans say they do not want former President Trump or President Biden in office.

Haley is campaigning ahead of the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary, where she will face off against Trump.

Despite serving as Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the former South Carolina governor did not hold back on her attempts to convince the people of her state that she would make a better president than Trump.

“We had 14 people in the race. We defeated a dozen of the fellas. I just got one more I’ve got to catch up to,” Haley said. “Everybody’s telling me, why don’t you just get out. I will never give up.”

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FILE – Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Spartanburg, S.C., Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Haley is launching a bus tour ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 24 Republican presidential primary, hoping that the two-week endeavor will show the former governor’s commitment to her home state ahead of its first-in-the-South vote. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

She told those in attendance that going into Iowa, she polled at 2% and finished almost second at 20%, then in New Hampshire, she finished at 43% of the vote.

After the New Hampshire results came in, Haley said, Trump had “a temper tantrum,” adding that he was unhinged because he did not know she would get 43% of the vote.

“All he did was talk about revenge and my dress,” Haley told the crowd. “Then the next day, he goes and says anybody that supports her is barred permanently from MAGA.”

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Haley asked the crowd to think about Trump’s threat to bar people from MAGA, saying leading into an election, you try to bring people into your corner and not push them out.

Like many of her speeches, she also pointed to Trump’s push for the Republican National Committee to name him the presumptive nominee after two states voted.

“We don’t anoint kings in America,” Haley said. “Then we went and saw his campaign disclosures, and that’s when we saw he spent $50 million of his campaign contributions on his personal court cases.”

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Nikki Haley and Donald Trump

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rather than talk about the American people or issues like the $34 trillion in debt the country is facing, Haley accused Trump of talking about being a victim and getting his revenge.

“All he did was talk about himself, and that’s a problem,” she said. “This isn’t about him.”

Haley also took digs at the Republican Party, placing the blame for the country’s $34 trillion debt not just on Biden, but also Republicans, blaming Trump for putting the country into $8 trillion debt in just four years, and pointing to the $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus bill that was passed “with no accountability.”

She said Republicans expanded welfare, left 80 million Americans on Medicaid and 42 million Americans on food stamps.

“Did Republicans try to make it right,” Haley asked. “No, they doubled down and opened pet projects and earmarks for the first time in 10 years, passing for 7,000 of them last year. In the 2024 appropriations budget, Republicans put in $7.4 billion worth of pet projects. Democrats put in $2.8 billion. Now, you tell me who the big spenders are.”
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Republican presidential candidate, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a rally in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The former South Carolina governor also accused Trump of saying any NATO country that does not pull their weight would not be defended by the U.S., doubling down that he would encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade those countries.

She accused Trump of siding with a “thug” and a dictator who arrests American journalists and hold them hostage.

Haley also told the crowd her opponent mocked her husband’s military service, saying when you mock one military member you mock all military members, adding that Trump has never been around a veteran, nor has he ever had to lie on the ground.

“The closest he’s come to harm’s way is a golf ball hitting him on his golf course,” she said.

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In her final plea to those in attendance, Haley told the crowd to vote early, volunteer and donate.

And when she said she would never give up, she went on to explain why.

“Why would I give up when 70% of Americans have said they don’t want Trump or Biden in this election? Why would I give up when 59% of Americans say Donald Trump is too old and Joe Biden is too old,” she asked. “Why would I give up when the majority of Americans disapprove of Joe Biden and a majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump? It is time we finally have a new generational conservative leader.”

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