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Nikki Haley quits Republican primaries with Trump far ahead

March 6, 2024

Nikki Haley has announced she is dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, leaving Donald Trump as the sole remaining candidate for the party.

USA, Portland | Nikki Haley
Image: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

US Republican Party presidential contender Nikki Haley has announced she was ending her presidential campaign on Wednesday.

"The time has now come to suspend my campaign," Haley said in a press conference on Wednesday. "I said I wanted Americans to have their voices heard. I have done that. I have no regrets. And although I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in."

Haley addresses American 'retreat,' decries Congress 'dysfunction'

In her speech, Haley addressed several aspects of US politics, both on the domestic and international fronts.

She warned of the national debt and the risk it would "eventually crush our economy."

"A smaller federal government is not only necessary for our freedom, it is necessary for our survival. The road to socialism is the road to ruin for America," she said.

Haley exits presidential race

Haley also criticized the US Congress as dysfunctional, saying it was "filled with followers, not leaders."

She also stressed the need for the US to stick by its allies, naming Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, describing that as a "moral imperative" and owing the crises to "America's retreat."

"If we retreat further, there will be more war, not less."

Haley's solitary win sets stage for Trump-Biden rematch

The decision clears the way for Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate, widely expected to be Donald Trump, who will most likely once again face off with Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

Haley, who served as the US ambassador to the UN under Trump, became his most significant rival in the Republican presidential race.

Earlier in February, Hayley had asked: "Ranting, raving, and chaos from a name from the past? We can do better." It was not to be.

Trump won 14 of the 15 primary elections in the "Super Tuesday" states, including Texas and California, but did not manage a clean sweep due to Haley's surprise upset in Vermont.

With his eyes on the US presidency, Trump told supporters at his Mar-a-Lago beach club in Florida that they had witnessed "an amazing night and an amazing day."

"This is a big one. They tell me, the pundits and otherwise, that there has never been one like this, never been anything so conclusive," said Trump.

US: Super Tuesday contests bring no surprises

Haley stops short of endorsing Trump

Haley did not announce an endorsement on Wednesday but rather encouraged Trump to earn the backing of Republican and independent voters who supported her.

"I congratulate him [Trump] and wish him well," she said.

"It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that," she said. "At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people."

Haley became the first woman to become governor of South Carolina, holding office from 2011 to 2017.

The official candidates for both the Republican and Democratic parties are chosen at party conventions held in US states during the summer.

Incumbent Biden has swept the Democratic primaries effectively uncontested.

Commenting on the "Super Tuesday" contest, he said the American people face a "clear choice" between "moving forward" or letting "Donald Trump drag us backward into the chaos, division, and darkness that defined his term in office."

The 81-year-old leader will now be focusing on his crucial State of the Union speech on Thursday.

US voters head to the polls to elect a new president on November 5.

rmt, kb/ab (Reuters, AP)