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GOP Moderates, Establishment Types Continue Pushing Haley As Trump’s Running Mate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Moderate and so-called “establishment” Republicans are continuing to push former President Donald Trump to select his one-time UN ambassador and campaign opponent Nikki Haley to be his running mate, according to a Sunday report.

The continued push comes after Haley came out last week and formally endorsed her one-time rival.

Politico published a report headlined “Hill GOP urges Trump to consider an establishment running mate — maybe even Haley,” but the story remains Trump has openly ruled out Haley as a potential vice presidential candidate.

The Trump campaign criticized Haley for using anti-Trump Democrats, who indicated they would vote for President Joe Biden, to build momentum for the GOP nomination during the early primary states.

Those early states allowed open primaries, enabling independents and Democrats to vote in Republican primaries to select a candidate to oppose Biden. But there are Republicans who have not backed Trump, and perhaps Haley’s endorsement of Trump might help, according to Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, Newsmax reported.

“People in these primaries are still voting for Nikki Haley,” he told Politico. “I think that we need to be focused on that group of people. I hope we get a vice president that will appeal to that group. Then those folks will start coming home.”

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Trump has frequently ruled out the possibility of running with a former presidential primary opponent as his vice presidential candidate. However, he has made similar statements in the past only to later reconsider his position, Newsmax noted.

Now, former GOP rival Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., onetime primary opponents Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, and critic-turned-backer Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, are all being considered by Trump as key administration contributors, if not running mates.

“I would not discount Nikki,” former Trump administration interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., told Politico. “He wants to make sure his running mate does not necessarily reflect himself, but also really reflects areas where he needs to be more competitive to win.”

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., initially the only House Republican to back Nikki Haley’s primary bid, has now returned to support Trump for president. He described Haley’s similar vow to support Trump as “great news.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the first GOP leaders in Congress to support Trump in the 2024 primary, is endorsing Scott, the only Black GOP senator.

“He’ll serve the president well: Tim has wide and deep support,” Graham told Politico, adding that he believes Haley is out. “She’d have been a good choice, but I’m afraid there’s been too much damage done.”

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“It’s too bad that Nikki Haley is out of it,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told Politico. “I do think she would be a really, really good running mate for him.

But he added: “If you’re looking for a demographic choice that adds value to the ticket, I mean, it’s hard to beat Tim Scott.”

Rubio, who is considered an establishment Republican by many, is also rising in the veepstakes narrative.

“They must want me out of the Senate,” Rubio quipped when asked about vice presidential prospects. “We’re a long ways from there; I haven’t talked to the president or his team about that. If that opportunity presents itself, I’ll have to give you a better answer.”

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, a House Freedom Caucus member, told Politico that the continued media desire to cast Haley as a vice president candidate flies in the face of Trump’s own words.

“People keep trying to float Nikki Haley’s name on the list, and [Trump] keeps saying ‘not happening,'” Davidson said. “I would agree with that.”

Last week, after Haley publicly endorsed Trump, he warmed up to the idea of bringing her back aboard.

“Well, I think she’s going to be on our team because we have a lot of the same ideas, the same thoughts,” Trump told News 12, the New York area cable outlet.

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