Nikki Haley to enter GOP presidential race Feb. 15, giving Trump 1st official rival

Nikki Haley on Hannity
Nikki Haley on Hannity Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will formally announce she is running for president at a Feb. 15 event in Charleston, The Post and Courier reported Tuesday night. An email will go out to her supporters on Wednesday, inviting them to the event, The Associated Press reports. Former President Donald Trump is the only official GOP presidential candidate so far, though Haley has forecast her intention to run for the nomination in recent weeks.

Haley was U.S. United Nations ambassador under Trump until she stepped down in 2018, at which point she moved back to South Carolina, joined the board of Boeing, wrote two books, and jumped on the speaking circuit, "reportedly commanding fees as high as $200,000," AP reports. She said in 2021 that she would not run for president in 2024 if Trump ran, but has suggested recently she changed her mind. Trump nevertheless reminded everyone of that pledge while campaigning in South Carolina last weekend.

"She said she would never run against me because I was the greatest president, but people change their opinions, and they change what's in their hearts," Trump told WIS-TV. "So I said, if your heart wants to do it, you have to go do it."

Trump has been less kind to his main perceived rival for the '24 nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who he has called "DeSanctimonious" and, last weekend, "disloyal" if he runs for president. DeSantis, asked about Trump's critique on Tuesday, noted that he won his re-election bid. Other likely 2024 GOP candidates include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and possibly former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a Trump critic.

Trump's campaign said Tuesday it raised $9.5 million between his Nov. 15 campaign launch and the end of 2022. "That amounted to an average of $201,600 a day, a fraction of the sums that established front-runners from past elections — in both parties — have collected in their opening weeks," The New York Times reports. Trump's campaign also reported spending more on fundraising than it brought in last quarter, Politico notes, calling that "an ominous sign, as the early days of campaigns are often a time for candidates to reap easy cash from enthusiastic donors."

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