Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently confirmed that she had a conversation with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but did not seek his endorsement following his exit from the Republican presidential primary.
This interaction took place after Christie’s campaign suspension and a hot mic incident where he made derogatory comments about Haley.
Christie, who was running for the White House for the second time, withdrew from the race during a town hall event in Windham, New Hampshire.
“It’s clear to me tonight that there isn’t a path for me to win the nomination,” Christie said. His decision came amid increasing calls from fellow Republicans and some voters to step down, potentially giving Haley a boost in her campaign to narrow the gap with former President Trump.
In a Fox News interview in Iowa, Haley discussed her interaction with Christie.
“I didn’t know about the open mic comments. But I do wish Chris well, it’s personal to get in a race. It’s personal to get out of a race. So, I know how tough that must be. But at the same time, I’m not like the fellas. Politics is not personal for me,” Haley said.
She further added, “I did talk to him this morning and just told him I appreciated his … commitment to this race. But no, we didn’t ask him for an endorsement.”
The interview occurred a day after Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis participated in a heated debate in the lead-up to the Iowa caucuses. During the debate, DeSantis accused Haley of being a “mealymouthed politician,” to which Haley responded by directing viewers to a website, DeSantislies.com, to fact-check his statements.
“I wasn’t saying it to be repetitious, but I was saying it because every time he lied, I had to include it. Look, we have a country to save. People want real facts. They want real solutions. And this is the part of politics that I don’t like, that Americans don’t like. They don’t like the fact that people throw out stories to see if they can make one stick,” Haley explained.
Haley’s campaign has gained momentum in recent months, with her debate performances receiving positive reviews. She has caught up with DeSantis in the polls in Iowa and nationally. A new Suffolk University survey shows Haley seven points ahead of DeSantis, placing her in a distant second behind Trump.
Following Iowa, the focus will shift to New Hampshire and then to South Carolina, Haley’s home state. When asked about seeking the endorsement of Sen. Tim Scott, who ended his White House bid in November, Haley stated, “we’ve had a conversation and right now we’re focused on Iowa. Then we’ll focus on New Hampshire, then we’ll focus on South Carolina. We’re taking it one state at a time.”
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