Nikki Haley Vows to Persist in Presidential Race Despite Trump’s Lead: Refuses to Yield in Republican Primary

Nikki Haley asserted her commitment to persist in the Republican presidential primary race against former President Trump, affirming her determination during an address in Greenville, South Carolina. “I’m not going anywhere,” she declared, emphasizing her readiness to vocalize uncomfortable truths and her refusal to yield to intimidation. She asserted, “I feel no need to kiss the ring… My own political future is of zero concern.” Haley drew parallels between her contest against Trump and the biblical tale of David and Goliath, dismissing speculation that she seeks the vice presidency or is positioning herself for a future presidential bid.

Despite trailing Trump significantly in South Carolina according to The Hill’s Decision Desk HQ polling average, Haley remained resolute. Trump’s campaign had issued a memo suggesting her impending defeat, characterizing her as a “wailing loser” clinging to a false reality. Haley brushed off such assertions, reaffirming her intention to persevere beyond the primary, declaring, “South Carolina will vote on Saturday, but on Sunday I will still be running for president.”

She did not shy away from criticizing both Trump and President Biden, targeting their age and mental acuity, alleging they are “at risk for dementia” and act as “dividers.” Haley highlighted public concerns over their age, stressing, “Nearly 60 percent of Americans say Trump and Biden are both too old to be president.” She accused Biden of self-inflicted harm and criticized Democrats for what she perceives as anointing him rather than engaging in robust competition.

In an emotional moment, Haley choked up as she discussed her husband Michael Haley, currently deployed abroad with the South Carolina Army National Guard. Her remarks followed a jab from Trump questioning why Michael wasn’t accompanying her on the campaign trail.

Despite her trailing position against Trump in South Carolina and nationally, polling data suggests Haley outperforms Biden in a head-to-head matchup, holding a slim lead over the president according to The Hill’s Decision Desk HQ polling average.

Senator Joe Manchin Rules Out Presidential Bid, Focusing on Unifying America

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared on Friday his decision not to pursue a presidential bid, dispelling persistent conjectures regarding his potential involvement in a third-party campaign.

“I will not be seeking a third-party run. I will not be involved in a presidential run,” Manchin affirmed during his address at West Virginia University, emphasizing his commitment to contributing to the selection of a unifying president for the nation.

The West Virginia senator, renowned for his moderate stance within the Democratic Party, had previously disclosed his intention not to seek reelection for his Senate seat, though he had refrained from definitively ruling out a presidential candidacy.

Speculation surrounding Manchin’s prospective bid had instilled apprehension among Democrats, who feared that his candidacy could siphon votes from President Biden and potentially disrupt the electoral landscape.

Manchin’s association with No Labels, an organization spearheading a ballot access initiative for an independent bid in November, had further fueled speculations. Confirmation of Manchin’s intentions was provided by his spokesperson Jon Kott prior to his official statement on Friday.

The national co-chairs of No Labels, including former Senator Joe Lieberman, Benjamin Chavis, and former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, expressed their acknowledgment of Manchin’s efforts to fortify the movement for a pragmatic majority in America. They disclosed ongoing discussions with various distinguished leaders regarding the prospect of forming a unity ticket.

“We are continuing to make great progress on our ballot access efforts and will announce in the coming weeks whether we will offer our line to a Unity ticket,” they stated.

Manchin, having served in the Senate since securing a special election victory in 2010 and subsequently winning reelection in 2012 and 2018, has wielded significant influence as a pivotal swing vote in the closely divided Senate, particularly during the Biden administration.

His decision against pursuing a third term in the Senate reflects the formidable challenge of navigating a reelection campaign in a predominantly conservative state amidst the backdrop of a presidential election year.