Haley blasts RNC for rushing to Trump as nominee, calls on Americans to ‘remember what normal felt like’

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GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday blasted reports that the Republican National Committee was rushing to declare former President Trump the party’s presidential nominee after his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I mean, he can’t bully his way through the nomination. I think that, you know, it’s not surprising that he is surrounded by the political elite. But let’s keep in mind, the political elite has gotten nothing done for us,” Haley said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

“I mean, we know exactly the people that pushed it are his people. And I know that during the debates, I mean, he was pushing Ronna McDaniel to stop the debates. He was calling her every other day. He’s been pushing them to pay for his lawsuits and all of these other things. But at the end of the day, this is not about the RNC. This is about the American people.” 

As Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is taking heat from the GOP over a border supplemental package being negotiated with Democrats that conservatives fear could still allow 5,000 illegal border crossings a day, Haley seemed to encourage Lankford and told Republicans not to leave Washington without the bill finished. 

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Haley delivers remarks at her primary-night rally at the Grappone Conference Center on Jan. 23, 2024, in Concord, New Hampshire. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“My message to Republicans is do not leave D.C. until you finish the job. We have waited for so long for Congress to do something about the border. First, Joe Biden should be securing the border. This is a national security threat. The idea that he is actually suing Gov. Abbott for trying to protect the people of Texas is wrong. America’s acting like it’s Sept. 10, and we better remember what Sept. 12 felt like, because it only takes one person to cause a 9/11 moment,” Haley said. 

Biden is claiming on the campaign trail that he’s prepared to shut down the border but needs the supplemental to do it. Republicans say the president could act under current law, but won’t. 

“I say to President Biden, prove it. Get into a room and get this done and prove it, because the American people are waiting,” Haley said Sunday. “I put this on Republicans and Democrats. I’m not picking favorites in this. I’m telling you, they have all not done a good job from the very beginning, and it is time that we get this country safe again.” 

Later in the program, host Kristen Welker asked Haley about law enforcement responding to a swatting incident at her home when Haley’s elderly parents were there last month. 

Nikki Haley in SC

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley holds a rally on Jan. 24, 2024, in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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“It put my family in danger. And, you know, it was not a safe situation. And that goes to show the chaos that’s surrounding our country right now and the fact that these things are happening,” Haley said. “And so, look, I’m not the only one that’s happened to, it wasn’t the first time. I think we’ve had it happen twice. But I will tell you this, that I think that what’s really important is we have lived in a country of chaos for quite a while now. It is time that we remember what normal felt like. It is time that we remember what healing feels like. It is time that we remember what it’s like not to have division, not to have hate.” 

Addressing concerns of political violence on the campaign trail, Haley went on to say she believes America “hit rock bottom.” 

Former President Donald Trump in New Hampshire

Former President Trump points to supporters at a campaign rally on Jan. 16, 2024, in Atkinson, New Hampshire. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“I’ve had threats made. It’s what happens when you run for president. I can handle that. That is not the problem. What I don’t want is for my kids to live like this,” Haley said. “My husband is deployed right now sacrificing for America with his military brothers and sisters. They are doing that because they love this country, because they still believe in this amazing experiment that is America. We have to go back to remember what it’s like to be Americans first. That’s the biggest thing that’s heartbreaking for me is we’re better than this.”

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“Our country is better than this, and the rest of the world is looking at us wondering what happened,” she said. “We’ve got to right this ship. We’ve got to get it back. And I know we can do it. America has an amazing ability to self-correct. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to know where up is, we’re there. We need to start looking up.” 

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