Determined to stay in presidential race after South Carolina primary: Nikki Haley

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Nikki Haley

Indian American Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley (File image)

Washington: Indian American Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has "refused" to quit and vowed to stay in the party’s race to the White House even after the South Carolina primary, where her rival former president Donald Trump is leading far ahead of her.


“I’m not afraid to say the hard truths out loud. I feel no need to kiss the ring. And I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him. My own political future is of zero concern. So, I hear what the political class says. But I hear from the American people too,” Haley said in a major political speech in South Carolina, where the Republican primary is scheduled for February 24.

Haley, 52, also contended that many of the same Republican politicians “who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him” and were “too afraid” to speak up, despite knowing he had been “a disaster” for the party.

She argued that Americans deserved a choice and not a “Soviet-style election,” which she described as only one candidate drawing 99 per cent of the vote.


“I refuse to quit. South Carolina will vote on Saturday. But on Sunday, I’ll still be running for president. I’m not going anywhere. I’m campaigning every day, until the last person votes, because I believe in a better America and a brighter future for our kids. Nothing good in life comes easy. I’m willing to take the cuts, the bruises, and the name-calling. Because the only way you get to the blessing is by going through the pain,” she said.

“Dropping out would be the easy route. I’ve never taken the easy route. I’ve been the underdog in every race I’ve ever run. I’ve always been David taking on Goliath. And like David, I’m not just fighting someone bigger than me. I’m fighting for something bigger than myself,” she said.

“We don’t anoint kings in this country,” she said. “We have elections. And Donald Trump, of all people, should know we don’t rig elections.” Haley asserted that she is not running to be the vice president or to run again for the presidency in the future.


“If I was running for a bogus reason, I would have dropped out a long time ago. The rest of the fellas already did that. They have their own plans. I don’t judge them. But I’m still here. I’m fighting for what I know is right. And I don’t care what the party leaders and political elites want. I’ll keep fighting until the American people close the door,” she said.

“That day is not today. And it won’t be Saturday. Not by a long shot. The presidential primaries have barely begun. Just three states have voted. Three. That’s it. After this weekend, we’ll be at four. That’s not a lot. In the 10 days after South Carolina, another 21 states and territories will vote,” Haley said.

“People have a right to have their voices heard. And they deserve a real choice, not a Soviet-style election where there’s only one candidate and he gets 99 per cent of the vote. We don’t anoint kings in this country. We have elections. And Donald Trump, of all people, should know we don’t rig elections!” said the Indian American politician.


Later in an email to her supporters, Haley said that she is not dropping out of the race.

“Some people—perhaps the media and political elites—thought I was dropping out of the race today. Well, I’m not. Far from it,” she said.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a United Nations ambassador under Trump is trailing her former boss in her home state by double digits.