Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley recently became the second Republican presidential candidate to launch a 2024 campaign, but it appears she is having some difficulty giving GOP voters a succinct reason to support her instead of former President Donald Trump.
Prior to announcing her White House bid, she made several indirect remarks about the perceived need to replace the current crop of elected officials.
“I think we need a young generation to come in, step up and really start fixing things,” she said last month. “Can I be that leader? Yes, I think I can be that leader.”
Haley has continued this argument since throwing her hat in the ring, including a statement she included in her announcement video.
Get excited! Time for a new generation.
Let’s do this! 👊 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BD5k4WY1CP
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 14, 2023
“It’s time for a new generation of leadership — to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.” she proclaimed.
The former South Carolina governor also recommended subjecting officials over the age of 75 to mandatory mental competency tests.
Aside from the fact that she is roughly 25 years younger than Trump, however, Haley has not offered a cohesive argument to attract support from Republican voters.
During a Fox News Channel interview on Sunday, she dismissed host Shannon Bream’s efforts to highlight any policy differences between the two GOP candidates.
“I don’t focus on President Trump,” Haley asserted. “It’s amazing that the media wants to talk about that so much. I am focused on Joe Biden.”
She did go on to reiterate her prior statement in support of change for the sake of change, claiming: “I think we need new energy going in. I think we need to leave the status quo of the past and start looking ahead.”
As for why she went back on her earlier promise not to seek the Republican presidential nomination if Trump were running, Haley has apparently not developed a clear rationale.
“Why you?” Bream asked directly.
“Why not me?” Haley replied, going on to outline a platform targeting “woke education” and other issues shared by Trump and other Republicans who have been named as likely 2024 presidential contenders.
For his part, Trump would likely benefit from a large primary field, which would dilute the impact of the party’s anti-Trump wing by spreading votes across multiple candidates. In response to Haley’s decision to launch a campaign, the former president declared “the more the merrier.”