Haley on Trump: 'This is not a coronation. This is an election.'



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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley deflected the notion that the viability of her campaign’s success hinges on New Hampshire, calling out the “political class” over crowning former President Trump as the GOP nominee, saying that “this is not a coronation. This is an election.” 

During her interview with NewsNation’s anchor Leland Vittert on Monday in New Hampshire, the former U.N. Ambassador said “it’s never been fair” to say that her campaign’s success is riding on the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary. 

She pointed to her steady climb in Iowa in the polls ahead of the Hawkeye State’s caucuses where she finished third, just behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who dropped out on Sunday. 

“It’s never been fair,” Haley said Monday, ahead of the New Hampshire primary. “You know, I said I needed to be strong in Iowa. We started at 2%. We ended at 20. I need to be stronger in New Hampshire. I think we’ll do that tomorrow. And then I need to be stronger than that in South Carolina.”  

Trump had a dominant showing in Iowa, winning the state by over 30 points and creating momentum that could be bolstered Tuesday with the news of DeSantis dropping out and endorsing the former president. 

On Monday, Haley cautioned that Trump won “only” 1.5 percent of the vote in Iowa, a state of over 3 million people and that the victory does not represent the broader voting electorate. 

“The one thing we have to remember is Donald Trump only won with one and a half percent of the vote in Iowa, 56,000 people voted for him out of the state of 3 million,” Haley said. “That’s not representative of the country. And you’ve got the political class saying, Oh, it’s him. It’s got to be him. No, this is not a coronation. This is an election.”  

The former South Carolina governor said that her campaign is focused on doing well “one” state “at a time” and gave a reminder that her home state, where she hopes to have a strong performance, is coming up soon on the GOP electoral schedule. 

“And you go state by state, you’re trying to get representation of real normal people,” Haley said. “And that’s what we’re focused on. We’re going to take it one step at a time. And then we’re headed to my sweet state of South Carolina.”

Haley, like Trump, is looking to build on her own momentum and pull an upset in the Tuesday primary. Now, locked into a one-on-one matchup with Trump, she is polling 13.8 percent behind the former president in the latest The Hill/Decision Desk HQ aggregate of polls. 

Her campaign has also benefited from DeSantis’s exit, raising over $500,000 in less than 24 hours and is already looking to make a statement in her home state even with a second-place finish in New Hampshire. The campaign announced a $4 million ad buy in South Carolina, slated to kick off a day after the Granite State primary and will cover all seven Palmetto State markets.

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