OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took a jab at her onetime boss, former President Donald Trump, during an interview this week but quickly attempted to change her tune.
In an interview with CNBC, Haley, a former South Carolina governor who has been rising in the polls and is now in second place—still well behind Trump — in some of them, said that “chaos” followed the 45th commander-in-chief wherever he went.
But, she added, she would readily support him if he became the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee, according to HuffPost.
On the program “Squawk Box,” host Joe Kernen asked Haley if Trump’s post-2020 election actions disqualified him from being president again. While she demurred, Haley did add that she believes Trump “is not the right president going forward.”
“Chaos follows him everywhere he goes. Chaos follows him. And in a time where we need to start getting our act together, do we really want to go that route? I don’t think we do,” she said.
However, she added that she would support whoever becomes the party’s nominee—presumably, that also means Trump.
“I’ll support the Republican nominee,” Haley said. “I mean, I think that’s important that we support the Republican nominee because I think anybody is better than [Vice President] Kamala Harris at this point.”
“I don’t play for second, I’ve never played for second and I’m not going to start now,” says 2024 Presidential Candidate @NikkiHaley on whether she would accept being Vice President to former President Trump. “I’m fighting to be president.” pic.twitter.com/f8NW6OFOR9
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) November 15, 2023
Last week, Haley had a few big moments at the third 2024 Republican primary debate hosted by NBC.
While speaking to the outlet following the debate, Haley reflected on her performance and discussed the state of the race. Haley boasted about her campaign surging into second place in some GOP primary polls, saying that she has no plans to drop out of the race despite former President Donald Trump’s commanding lead.
Haley also took the time to hit back at Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy after he brought up her daughter at the debate.
“I have to start with the moment we saw with Vivek Ramaswamy. Can you take a minute to reflect on that moment and what was going through your head? Do you dislike him?” an NBC News reporter asked.
“Look, I’m a mom. The second you start saying something about my 25-year-old daughter, I will get my back up. It is not even about the personal part. There are serious differences I have with him. He does not think we have to help Israel; he sides with Putin, and he thinks that Ukraine doesn’t matter,” Haley began.
“He is okay with giving Taiwan to China. There are so many issues. He does not think America needs friends. I think he has a dangerous foreign policy that we can’t afford. I think he would make America less safe,” she added.
“I do not even give him the time of day. He is not worthy. He is not ready to be president; everybody knows that and sees that. So many things he said were uncalled for,” Haley said.
Arguably the tensest moment of the debate came when the discussion over whether to outlaw the social media app TikTok—which the FBI and other national security authorities have warned could transmit personal information to China’s autocratic government—sparked the heated exchange.
“Her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care your family first,” Ramaswamy told Haley at the debate in Miami, the third GOP debate of the election cycle. The audience booed in response.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice. … You’re just scum,” Haley shot back with apparent content, rolling her eyes and shaking her head.
Haley to Ramaswamy: You’re just scum pic.twitter.com/meLxcAVg4a
— Acyn (@Acyn) November 9, 2023
Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, hedge fund titan Paul Singer, and Thomas Peterffy, the founder of stock brokerage firm Interactive Brokers, have yet to decide which Republican candidate they want to support.
Haley was reportedly referred to as “a rockstar” by Griffin, who recently declared that he was watching the 2024 presidential race from the sidelines during a private meeting with other business executives.