Indian American Nikki Haley, Former South Carolina Republican Governor and former US ambassador to the United Nations under the Donald Trump administration has announced that she will run for president in 2024, becoming the first major rival to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership — to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.” Haley said in her video announcement. Haley accused the “socialist left” of seeing “an opportunity to rewrite history.”
“The Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again. It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose,” Haley said in the video.
“China and Russia are on the march. They all think we can be bullied, kicked around,” Haley said. “You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels. I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”
Per reports, the former president, who announced his bid last year, recently appeared to bless her entrance into the race, telling reporters that she had called to tell him she was considering a campaign launch and that he had said, “You should do it.”
The Indian American community has expressed support to Haley, a second-generation Indian American, who has risen through the rank and file of the Republican Party by her leadership qualities. “I have known Governor Haley personally for decades and we are delighted that she has announced her candidacy on February 15th, 2023 at her home state, and capital Charleston,” Dr. Sampat Shivangi, a Member of the National Advisory Council, SAMHSA, Center for National Mental Health Services, Washington DC told this writer. “On behalf of the large and influential Indian American community, I wish her well and all the success in the coming days, and pray, she will succeed to be a nominee of GOP in 2024. We will assure our community support in every way,” he added.
Pointing to the many leadership roles she has held, Dr. Shivangi said, “Governor Nicky Haley, who has served in multiple roles in the US and on word stage as the US Ambassador to United Nations, makes all of us proud, specifically Indian Americans, who have given a unique identity as part of the diaspora. A rare quality of Governor Nicky is that she has not forgotten her roots and her ancestral homeland India as she visited India and interacted with leadership in India including meeting our beloved leader Prime Minister Modi. She is a popular and respected leader, not only in her home state, South Carolina, and across US. She has very close ties with President Trump who she may be running against in GOP primaries. I have learned that President Trump has welcomed her candidacy for the highest office of the land, possibly a place on the world stage.”
Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, opened the video talking about how she felt “different” growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina. “The railroad tracks divided the town by race. I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not Black, not White. I was different. But my mom would always say your job is not to focus on the differences but on the similarities. And my parents reminded me and my siblings every day how blessed we were to live in America,” Haley said. If successful in the primary, Haley would be the first woman and the first Asian American nominated by the Republican Party for president.
Haley will likely face stiff competition from other potential GOP candidates such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who are all said to be weighing 2024 runs. Some strategists say a big Republican primary field would be advantageous to Trump, who still enjoys significant support among the party base, and could splinter the vote — allowing him to walk away with the nomination.