AP Photo/John Locher
- Ex-Romney strategist Stuart Stevens on MSNBC blasted Nikki Haley for her expected White House bid.
- “No one else really embodies sort of the collapse of the party as well as Nikki Haley,” he said.
- Haley, a former South Carolina governor, served as the US Ambassador to the UN under Trump.
Mitt Romney’s former aide blasted Nikki Haley in a recent interview over the former South Carolina governor’s decision to enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary, saying she “doesn’t have anything else to do” and arguing that she is actually seeking a vice presidential slot.
Stuart Stevens — who was Romney’s chief strategist for his 2012 White House run and also a senior advisor for the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project — questioned Haley’s motivation for running for the presidency during a February 2 interview on MSNBC.
Haley has not yet formally announced her campaign but is reportedly set to do so on February 15 in Charleston, South Carolina.
“Why is Nikki Haley running? I don’t think she’s really running because she thinks she’s going to be president of the United States,” Stevens said. “First of all, she doesn’t have anything else to do. She’s raised some money here in her PAC and she’ll run. And I would say she’s running to be vice president. I don’t think she’s going to go out there and attack Donald Trump.”
He continued: “No one else really embodies sort of the collapse of the party as well as Nikki Haley. She was what the party was supposed to be. She went out and said that Donald Trump was everything that she taught her children not to be, and she went from that to saying that she wants to carry on the Trump legacy. It’s just so sad. She’s already broken before she gets in the race.”
Haley, a former state legislator, was elected governor of South Carolina in 2010 and reelected in 2014.
In February 2016, she endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid, slamming former President Donald Trump at a rally as “everything I taught my children not to do in Kindergarten.”
“I taught my two little ones — you don’t lie and make things up,” she said at the time. “I taught my two little ones that you don’t push people around and just tell them what you think should happen. And I told my two little ones to do exactly what Marco Rubio did in the last debate. When a bully hits you, you hit that bully right back.”
Shortly after Trump was elected that November, he nominated Haley to serve as his Ambassador to the United Nations, a position that she held from January 2017 until December 2018.
In April 2021, Haley said that she wouldn’t run for president in 2024 if Trump decided to launch a presidential campaign, just weeks after telling Politico that his conduct after his 2020 election loss would “be judged harshly by history.”
However, in October 2021, Haley told The Wall Street Journal that the Trump administration had left behind a “strong legacy.”