Nikki Haley suspends campaign for Republican presidential nomination

Nikki Haley has officially suspended her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, leaving frontrunner and former United States President Donald Trump as the only remaining candidate for the 2024 GOP nod.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday morning, Haley thanked those who backed her bid for the White House.

KEEP READING
list of 4 items
list 1 of 4
Trump wins Republican caucuses in Michigan, Missouri, Idaho
list 2 of 4
US Supreme Court rules Trump can remain on 2024 primary ballots
list 3 of 4
In Texas’s Super Tuesday races, a litmus test for Trump’s Republican Party
list 4 of 4
Trump’s Gaza comments highlight tough choice for peace-supporting US voters
end of list
“But the time has now come to suspend my campaign,” she said. “It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that.”

The decision comes after the former US ambassador to the United Nations was soundly defeated in most primaries during Super Tuesday elections.

Her departure from the race opens the way for a rematch between Trump and the incumbent Democrat, President Joe Biden, in November. It will be the first repeat presidential contest since 1956.

Al Jazeera correspondent John Hendren, reporting from North Carolina, said Haley’s announcement effectively means “the general election has unofficially begun”.

“And that means the Republican Party can actually throw its support behind Donald Trump, financially and otherwise,” Hendren said.

Haley lasted longer than any other Republican challenger to the frontrunner, drawing support from deep-pocketed donors. But she never posed a serious threat to Trump, whose grip on the party’s base remains firm despite his multiple criminal indictments.

Haley spent the final phase of her campaign warning Republican voters against embracing Trump, whom she said was too consumed by chaos and personal grievances to defeat Biden.

On Wednesday morning, she said Trump was likely to win the Republican nomination.

“I congratulate him and wish him well. I wish anyone well who would be America’s president,” she said. “Our country is too precious to let our differences divide us.”

Haley’s stronger showing among moderate Republicans and independents highlighted how Trump’s scorched-earth style of politics could make him vulnerable in an election expected to be dominated by the issues of economy and immigration.

She won unaffiliated voters by a wide margin in New Hampshire and notched almost 40 percent of the vote in South Carolina.

 

But Trump is on track to reach the required 1,215 delegates needed to snag the Republican nomination later this month.

 

<<ALjazeera>>