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Nikki Haley says she’s voting for Trump after losing primary

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Nikki Haley at the Hudson Institute

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who strongly criticized Donald Trump during her bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, says she’s voting for the former president after losing the race.

“As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who’s gonna have the backs of our Allies and hold our enemies to account. Who would secure the border, no more excuses. A president who would support capitalism and freedom. A president who understands we need less debt, not more debt,” Haley said.

The former candidate, who was speaking at conservative think tank the Hudson Institute, said Trump had “not been perfect” on those issues but that she believes President Joe Biden “has been a catastrophe” for the United States. “So I will be voting for Trump,” she said.

Haley continues to receive a notable share of votes in the ongoing Republican primaries, despite dropping out of the race. She received 6.4% in Kentucky on Tuesday and 9.4% in West Virginia, 18.2% in Nebraska and 21.8% in Maryland on May 14. While Trump has already secured the nomination, those numbers could pose a problem when he faces Biden.

“I stand by what I said in my suspension speech. Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me, and not assume that they’re just gonna be with him,” Haley said on Wednesday. “And I genuinely hope he does that.”

Trump repeatedly mocked Haley during the Republican primaries and gave her the nickname “birdbrain.” Haley meanwhile offered strong criticism of the former president, unlike other Republicans who tried to win this year’s nomination.

“Many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump, privately dread him,” Haley said in February. “They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. They’re just too afraid to say it out loud. Well, I’m not afraid to say the hard truths out loud. I feel no need to kiss the ring.”

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