OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A growing chorus of influential conservatives are calling on former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to end what appears to be a hopeless quest for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination and unite around the top candidate by far, former President Donald Trump.
The calls come as Haley has gone 0-4 in the first series of primaries, and she is trailing Trump by a wide margin in her own home state of South Carolina, where she served as governor.
“A group of 12 prominent conservatives, including a former governor, media executives, and a former U.S. attorney general,” are calling on her to quit the race, the Washington Examiner reported, though she is continuing to raise money and has vowed to stay in the race until the end.
“While you have waged a spirited campaign for the 2024 Republican Party nomination, it is clear you cannot win the GOP nomination,” a letter to her reads. “We applaud your efforts, but your candidacy is over.”
The group went on to accuse her of harming the GOP by staying in the race.
The Washington Examiner noted:
The group consists of former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, former Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen, Conservative Action Project Chairman Kenneth Blackwell, Conservative Leadership PAC Chairman Morton Blackwell, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Counterpoint Institute President Dr. Shea Bradley-Farrell, Tea Party Patriots Chairwoman Jenny Beth Martin, American Lands Council President Myron Ebell, ConservativeHQ.com Chairman Richard Viguerie, presidential historian Craig Shirley, American Spectator Publisher R. Emmett Tyrrell, and former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese.
The group cited a past example of how a prolonged and pointless candidacy within the GOP caused long-term damage to both the party and the candidate himself.
“In 1964, then-[New York] Governor Nelson Rockefeller stayed in the race against [Arizona] Sen. Barry Goldwater too long, even when it was apparent he had lost the nomination,” it reads. “As a result, Rockefeller ended up hated by the rank and file of the GOP. Do you really want to become the Nelson Rockefeller of the 21st century?”
The group also lashed out at Haley’s criticisms of Trump, which they said would hurt his chances against President Joe Biden in November.
“Please withdraw from the race now, endorse Donald Trump, and another year will beckon,” the letter concludes. “This action by you would be the better part of valor.”
During an interview on “Fox News @ Night” last week, Haley declared that the U.S. will have a female president, whether it’s her or Kamala Harris, claiming that Trump cannot win the general election.
“This is about the fact that we are going to have a female President of the United States. It will either be me or it will be Kamala Harris. I voted for Trump twice. I was proud to serve in his administration, but chaos follows him. We can’t be a country in disarray in a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We won’t survive it,” Haley said.
She continued, “And he can’t win a general election. That’s a fact. We lost in 2018. We lost in 2020. We lost in 2022. Look at what happened yesterday. He lost his case on immunity, and he’s got a year’s worth of court cases yet. The Republicans couldn’t get a border situation done. They couldn’t impeach Secretary Mayorkas. They couldn’t pass a pro-Israel bill. The RNC is imploding. All of that has Trump’s fingerprints on it. Everything he touches is chaos, and we continue to lose. How many more times do we have to lose before we realize that is the problem?”
“Look at the messaging. Trump, as the Republican incumbent, didn’t get 43 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. That’s not small. You look at the general election polls. Trump is down in every one of those polls. Down 7, down 9. On his best day, it’s margin of error. We had a Marquette poll come out recently in Wisconsin, I defeat Biden by 15 points. Wall Street Journal, I defeat Biden by 17 points,” Haley said.