GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley has dismissed the suggestion that she’s running in the 2024 race in order to get the vice presidency.
“I think everybody that says, ‘She’s doing this to be vice president,’ needs to understand I don’t run for second,” Haley said in an interview reported by Politico on Thursday.
“That’s something that I hear all the time, and I’ll tell you that, look, we have a country to save, and I don’t trust anybody else to do it,” she added.
Haley was the first major Republican to announce a 2024 primary challenge to former President Trump, under whom she served as United Nations ambassador, and she’s been shrugging off the vice presidency speculation lobbed her way since early in her campaign.
Former national security adviser John Bolton, who held Haley’s U.N. role under former President George W. Bush, said just after her announcement in February that she’s “really running for vice president,” an idea others have also floated.
Haley rejected the charge in an interview with The Hill in May.
“I don’t play for second; I’ve never played for second. I’m doing this to win it,” she said.
Republican challengers have clamored for an opportunity to cut into Trump’s lead, which he has maintained for months even as he faces multiple state and federal indictments tied to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, the mishandling of classified material and other charges.
The latest Morning Consult survey of the GOP contenders pits Trump at 57 percent with his closest competitor, Florida Gov. DeSantis, at 16 percent. Haley scored 3 percent.
Haley’s also the only woman in the crowded GOP race. But she told Politico that she doesn’t “play the gender card.”
“I think that when I become the first female president, it won’t be because I’m a woman. It’ll be because … I’m the right person for the job,” she said.
—Updated at 10:30 a.m.