Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signaled her interest in running for president in an interview this week, and will reportedly formally launch her campaign later this month. The move immediately invited scorn from former President Donald Trump, the only major Republican candidate to have officially declared for 2024 so far.
But it also was a clear reversal for Haley, who — noted CNN's Abby Phillip on Sunday's "Inside Politics" — previously said she would support Trump if he ran for president again.
"This was Nikki Haley nearly two years ago on the possibility of running against Donald Trump for president," said Phillip, playing a CNN clip. "If he runs again in 2024, will you support him?" asked a reporter. "Yes. I would not run if President Trump ran," she replied.
"And this was Nikki Haley just two weeks ago on the possibility of running against Donald Trump for president," said Phillip, showing a clip of a Fox News interview. "Yes, we need to go in a new direction," said Haley. "Can I be that leader? Yes. I think it's time for new generational change. I don't think you need to be 80 years old to go be a leader in D.C."
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"How things have changed," said Phillip. "In just over a week, the former Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations is expected to announce that she'll battle her former boss for the Republican nomination. She'll be the first but definitely not the last to mount the challenge to Trump. Let's just say he isn't too happy about it."
Phillip then played a clip of Trump reacting to the news.
"She said numerous times, I put it up actually, that I would never run if our president run, he was a great president, et cetera, et cetera," said Trump. "She said that numerous times. She's a very ambitious person. She just couldn't stay in her seat. I said, you know what, if you want to run, go ahead and run. Nikki suffers from something that's a very tough thing to suffer from. She's overly ambitious."
"No surprises there," said Phillip. "Trump starts with — the very first thing he starts with, I guess, a kind of gender trope about the overly ambitious woman. You better believe that Nikki Haley, who is pretty used to running against a lot of men, that's something that she's going to exploit."
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Watch the segment below or at this link.
Abby Phillip on Nikki Haley www.youtube.com