WASHINGTON – Nikki Haley plans to tell fellow Republicans on Tuesday that they have an urgent mission to renew their convictions, the latest in a series of high-profile speeches by potential GOP presidential candidates maneuvering in the shadow of Donald Trump.
“Much of our people are plagued by doubt or even hatred of America. It is a pandemic much more damaging than any virus,” Haley intends to say in her remarks to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute in California.
Like former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie before her, Haley participates in a “Time for Choose” lecture series sponsored by the dedicated institute. to a Republican icon, former President Ronald Reagan.
Many of these speeches are seen as openings to possible presidential campaigns in 2024
Highlighting her experience as governor of South Carolina and then ambassador to the United Nations, Haley will say that Republicans must also face their enemies abroad and face the Democratic pessimists at home.
Haley plans to make little or no mention of Trump, but instead attack President Joe Biden and the Democrats as well as foreign antagonists like China and Iran, according to the text of his speech.
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Many political analysts say other Republicans are likely to be hopeful that Trump will not stand for re-election, given his fundraising, high profile and remaining support among Republican voters despite the tumultuous end of his presidency in January.
“If Trump shows up, they probably don’t stand a chance,” said Jack Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California.
If for some reason Trump does not show up in 2024, Pitney said, the other potential candidates “want to be ready for a window of opportunity that will open and close very quickly. If not, someone else? other will seize the moment, leaving them behind, probably forever. “
Haley – who told The Associated Press in April that she would support Trump if he ran again and did not run herself – plans to highlight her experiences as governor of South Carolina and ambassador for the ‘UN in its remarks at the Reagan Forum.
Citing China, Russia, Iran and international terrorists as formidable adversaries, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations said the United States was engaged in a “clash of civilizations” and “the bad guys think that the good guys don’t have the will to win “.
As for the Biden and Democrats, Haley plans to hit them on things ranging from the withdrawal from Afghanistan to claims by some that the United States is a racist nation.
“The most urgent mission of our time is to stop our national self-hatred and to regain our courage and renew our beliefs,” Haley said.
Arguing that Democrats “don’t even believe in America” and have “given up on America as a color blind society,” Haley plans to say that critics “view America’s flaws as deeper than its strengths. . They deny the massive progress we’ve made, and they punish anyone who doesn’t agree. “
The daughter of Indian immigrants and a businesswoman before entering politics in South Carolina, Haley plans to say, “I haven’t just seen American history. I have lived American history.”
“Where we lead, the world follows,” said an opening text of the speech. “When we speak, the world listens. What we are, the world wants.”
Haley also plans to discuss her 2015 decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from the top of the South Carolina State Capitol, less than a month after a white man killed nine blacks at a Charleston church. in a racially motivated mass murder.
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Since Trump left the White House on January 20, Haley has offered mixed messages about the ex-president.
Shortly after the Jan. 6 insurgency by Trump supporters on the United States Capitol, Haley told Politico that Trump “let us down” and added that “He went down a path that he didn’t shouldn’t have borrowed and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that happen again. “
A few months later, Haley told The Associated Press that “I would not be running if President Trump did show up, and I would tell him about it.”
In a pre-speech interview released on Tuesday, Haley told the Wall Street Journal that she disagreed with Trump’s claim of a ‘stolen election’ in 2020, saying ‘there had been fraud in the election, but I don’t think the numbers were so big that it tipped the vote in the wrong direction. “
Haley also told the Journal of the ex-president, “We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the pre-Trump days.”
Other potential Republican candidates addressed the Trump issue in their speeches at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute.
Former New Jersey Gov Chris Christie last month said Republicans “must give up on conspiracy theorists and deniers of the truth.” He also urged Republicans to face the “realities” of the 2020 election: “To pretend we won when we lost is a waste of time, energy and credibility.”
Pence, Trump’s former vice president, praised Trump and compared him favorably to Reagan in his June speech. Pence also touted his decision to reject Trump’s demands to increase or delay the certification of electoral votes that sealed Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“There is hardly any idea more anti-American than the idea that one person can choose the American president,” Pence said.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is not running for President in 2024, delivered the most anti-Trump speech in the Reagan speaker series.
“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of a personality or second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,” Ryan said in his remarks in May.
Keeping his own eye on 2024, Trump resumed his political rallies, including an event in Iowa on Saturday. He and his political action committees fundraise at campaign rates. Although he remains banned on Twitter and Facebook, Trump posts a constant stream of written statements attacking the Biden administration and other critics like Ryan.
In a series of interviews, Trump has cast a shadow over potential Republican rivals.
Asked about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ outlook last week, Trump told Yahoo Finance: “I think most people would give up. I think he would give up. And, if I faced him, I would beat him like I would beat everyone else, frankly. “
Trump also said he had not officially declared an election in 2024: “I said if I ran I think I would do extremely well and I don’t just watch the polls, I watch the enthusiasm.”
The former president has potential headwinds, including an investigation by New York prosecutors into past financial transactions. Georgia prosecutors are investigating his efforts as president to pressure local officials to change election results in the state.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute will continue the speaker series in 2022. On Tuesday, it announced a speaker roster that includes prominent critics of Trump but not Trump himself.
The list of future speakers includes Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., One of ten House Republicans to vote for Trump’s impeachment on January 6 and now the target of a Trump-backed main challenger; and Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who also wants the party to overtake Trump.
Other speakers include Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, both of whom questioned Trump’s continued leadership of the party.
That said, Trump enjoys a high approval rating from Republicans, many of whom believe his bogus election claims. Many observers believe Trump will run again, barring health or legal issues.
Pitney said: “Unless he’s in a hospital bed or in a jail cell in 2024, he’s running.”