Nikki Haley projected optimism as the former South Carolina governor began campaigning in her home state Thursday.
Nevertheless, Haley appears to have few allies in the upper echelon of the South Carolina GOP and the Republican Party, with both of her state’s senators endorsing Trump and RNC head Ronna McDaniel all but declaring Trump the victor in the 2024 primary.
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., also congratulated Haley on a well-run campaign but endorsed Trump earlier this week.
“South Carolina is Trump country and he is crushing it right now,” Mace told Fox News on Wednesday. “I want to say that Nikki Haley ran a great race. She made it deep into the playoffs, but the playoffs are now over and it’s time to start the Superbowl. We have got to take on Joe Biden right now if we’re going to take our country back.”
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Joining Mace in endorsing Trump are fellow GOP South Carolina Reps. Russell Fry, Joe Wilson, William Timmons and Jeff Duncan. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has also endorsed the former president.
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Haley vowed to keep pressing forward during a campaign appearance in the state on Wednesday, however.
“This is a choice between more of the same, or going forward. More of the same is not just Joe Biden, more of the same is Joe Biden and Donald Trump,” she told supporters in Charleston. “So we are not going to sit there and just give up.”
Haley’s optimism has visibly enraged Trump, who attacked her as “delusional” on social media Wednesday night. He then took the issue onto the stage at a campaign event.
“Who the hell was the impostor that went up on the stage before and, like, claimed a victory?” Trump said, referencing Haley’s reaction to her New Hampshire performance.
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While Haley lost the state 43% to 54%, she insisted the result was a major step in the right direction.