Haley’s campaign ends: Trump remains unchallenged

Haley confirmed her decision, which had been advanced by major U.S. media, in a speech in Charleston, the main city of South Carolina.

Nikki Haley suspended her presidential campaign after being soundly defeated nationwide during the Super Tuesday primaries, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Haley confirmed her decision, which had been advanced by major U.S. media, in a speech in Charleston, the main city of South Carolina, the state of which she was governor.

Haley said she was “filled with gratitude for the outpouring of support” she has received from across the country. “But the time has come to suspend my campaign,” she said.

“I said I wanted Americans to make their voices heard. And I have,” he added. “I have no regrets.”

Haley, who also served as ambassador to the U.N. during Trump’s presidency, was the former president’s first significant rival when she jumped into the race in February 2023. She spent the final phase of her campaign aggressively warning the Republican Party against supporting Trump, who she said was too mired in chaos and personal problems to defeat President Joe Biden in the general election.

“In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee,” Haley said during her speech. “I congratulate him and wish him well. I wish the best to anyone who wants to be president of the United States.” However, she did not announce her endorsement of the former president. On the contrary, she asked him to win the support of moderates and independents who supported her in the primaries.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond who did not support him, and I hope he does,” Haley said.

Haley’s withdrawal from the primary allows Trump to focus solely on his likely rematch with Biden in November. The former president is on track to reach the 1,215 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination later this month.

Following Haley’s announcement, the Republican National Committee issued a statement declaring Trump the presumptive nominee. Ronna McDaniel, the committee’s chairwoman who will step down this week, congratulated Trump and then applauded Haley “for running a hard-fought campaign and becoming the first woman to win a Republican presidential primary.”

Haley’s defeat comes as a painful, if predictable, blow to Republican Party voters, donors and leaders who opposed Trump and his fiery “Make America Great Again” policies.

He was especially popular among moderates and college-educated voters, groups that will likely play a key role in the general election. It is unclear whether Trump, who recently declared that Haley’s donors would be permanently banned from his movement, can finally unify a deeply divided party.

Despite her retirement, Haley made history as the first woman to win a Republican primary. She defeated Trump in the District of Columbia on Sunday and in Vermont on Tuesday.

Haley had insisted she would stay in the race until Super Tuesday and toured the country campaigning in states with Republican contests. In the end, she was unable to knock Trump off his path to a third consecutive nomination.

Haley’s allies point out that she exceeded most of the political world’s expectations by making it this far.

Haley has made it clear she does not want to be Trump’s vice president or run on a third party ticket organized by the No Labels group. She leaves the race with a high national profile that could help her in a future presidential run.

In recent days, she has backtracked on her pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, required of anyone who participates in party debates.

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