Nikki Haley called out the Republican National Committee for favoring Donald Trump, accusing the RNC of “clearly not” being an honest broker in the 2024 presidential primary.
“Do you think — just going back to the RNC calling for the party to unify around Trump, which happened, by the way, during the New Hampshire primary, before the polls had even closed — do you think the RNC has been an honest broker in this case?” NBC’s Meet the Press host Kristen Welker asked Haley on Sunday.
WATCH: @NikkiHaley says the RNC is “clearly not” an honest broker in 2024 race.
Haley: “Trump overstepped when he pushed them to” unify around him.@kwelkernbc: Do you have actual knowledge that he asked the RNC to do that?
Haley: “The people that pushed it are his people.” pic.twitter.com/EUluwtzQuT
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 28, 2024
“I mean, clearly not,” said Haley, a former South Carolina governor who served as ambassador to the United Nations during Trump’s administration. “If you’re going to go in and basically tell the American people that you’re going to go and decide who the nominee is after only two states have voted. I mean, 48 states out there. This is a democracy. The American people want to have their say in who is going to be their nominee. We need to give them that. I mean, you can’t do that based on just two states. And not only that, it’s 1,215 delegates to reach the nomination. Donald Trump has 32; I have 17. So let’s let this play out”
On the night of the New Hampshire primary, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel called for the party to “unite around” Trump. “We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump and we need to make sure we beat Joe Biden,” McDaniel said on Fox News. Even before the New Hampshire polls closed, McDaniel said in a statement to NBC News that, “If President Trump comes out strong tonight, that’s a clear message being sent by our primary voters. Republicans know that if we’re not united as a party behind our nominee, we won’t be able to beat Biden.”
Haley is Trump’s closest opponent in the polls, but he has easily bested her in the first two state primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. Last week, the RNC considered and then abandoned a resolution declaring Trump as the GOP’s “presumptive 2024 nominee,” even though many states have yet to vote. A draft of the resolution obtained by the Associated Press read that the committee “declares President Trump as our presumptive 2024 nominee for the office of President of the United States and from this moment forward moves into full general election mode welcoming supporters of all candidates as valued members of Team Trump 2024.”
Usually, the RNC does not declare a nominee or integrate with a campaign until a nominee has reached the threshold number of delegates required to secure the nomination.
Trump publicly opposed the resolution after news of it broke, writing on Truth Social that while he “greatly” appreciated the move, “I feel, for the sake of PARTY UNITY, that they should NOT go forward with this plan, but that I should do it the ‘Old Fashioned’ way, and finish the process off AT THE BALLOT BOX.”
“I think that Trump overstepped when he pushed them to do it,” Haley said Sunday of the resolution. “And I think that’s why he’s had to back down. And that was the right thing to do was to back down.”
David Bossie, a former 2016 deputy campaign manager for Trump, introduced and ultimately withdrew the resolution. “We know exactly — the people that pushed it are his people,” Haley told Welker. “And I know that during the debates, I mean, he was pushing Ronna McDaniel to stop the debates. He was calling her every other day. He’s been pushing them to pay for his lawsuits and all of these other things.”
Haley has not pulled punches when discussing Trump, calling him “totally unhinged” at a campaign event on Saturday after Trump threatened to “permanently ban” her donors from “the MAGA camp.” Last week, she questioned his cognitive abilities after he confused her name with Nancy Pelosi’s.
“I do think that he is in decline, and I think that he needs to know to step away,” Haley told Welker.
Haley’s campaign said on Thursday, per the AP, that it received $1.2 million in new donations “after Trump’s unhinged pledge to ‘permanently bar’ any individual who contributed to Haley’s campaign.”
Haley on Sunday promised she has “every intention” of remaining in the race through Super Tuesday.
“I have every intention of going to Super Tuesday — through Super Tuesday,” she said. “We’re going to keep on going and see where this gets us. That’s what we know we’re going to do right now. I take it one state at a time. I don’t think too far ahead, but I’m not going anywhere.”
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