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Nikki Haley Meeting With Donors But No Trump Endorsement Coming Yet

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


Former 2024 GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley continues to garner some support in Republican primaries even though she formally dropped out of the race two months ago, after which she refused at the time to endorse the likely nominee, former President Donald Trump.

And no endorsement appears forthcoming—at least not yet, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The outlet reported late last week that the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador under Trump is set to attend a retreat on Monday and Tuesday. During the retreat, she will thank around 100 of her donors. She is also not expected to talk about her political future or encourage those donors to give to other campaigns, including Trump’s campaign.

A source told the outlet that Haley and Trump never spoke when she dropped out of the race on March 6 and have not had any talks since.

Eric Tanenblatt, a long-time GOP fundraiser and strategist in Georgia, says he hopes that Nikki Haley, 52, will run for president again. Tanenblatt plans to attend the donor meeting.

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“Sometimes it takes more than one run to secure the nomination. Look at John McCain and Mitt Romney,” he said, citing two past GOP nominees who took more than one try. “She created something of a movement and built a coalition of Republicans and independents and even some conservative Democrats.”

The strategist told the WSJ he can see a scenario in which Haley publicly supports her former boss, but that it would take Trump reaching out to her and her supporters. “It’s now up to President Trump to unite the Republican Party by demonstrating to Nikki supporters that they have a place under the tent,” he said.

Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, stated that the party has rallied around Trump. She declined to comment on whether her candidate has communicated with Haley since she exited the race.

“President Trump is building a historic and unified political movement to make America great again,” Leavitt said.

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Haley was Trump’s first UN ambassador. She was also the first candidate to step up to challenge him for the GOP nomination.

Senior members of her political and fundraising team are set to attend a meeting where they will analyze the strategies and efforts that enabled her campaign to surpass approximately a dozen other primary contenders. During the review, her team plans to report that Haley’s campaign and associated groups managed to raise $162 million from over 287,000 donors.

Despite suspending her campaign, she continues to garner support in Republican primaries. For instance, on Tuesday in Indiana, she received nearly 22 percent of the vote, underscoring a potential weakness for Trump among key suburban voters.

“That’s incredible, considering she never campaigned there,” Bill Strong, a Florida-based former international investment banker and longtime GOP fundraiser who supported Haley and plans to attend the donor meeting, told the WSJ.

In April, Haley opened a new chapter in her career after failing to capture the nomination, joining the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute, according to Fox News.

“Nikki is a proven, effective leader on both foreign and domestic policy,” Hudson President and CEO John P. Walters noted in a statement Monday. “In an era of worldwide political upheaval, she has remained a steadfast defender of freedom and an effective advocate for American security and prosperity. We are honored to have her join the Hudson team.”

During her White House campaign, Haley promoted a robust U.S. foreign policy approach to address global flashpoints like the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the clashes involving Israel and Hamas. That stance often stood in stark contrast to Trump’s “America First” agenda, which aimed to steer clear of international engagements.

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