Former President Donald Trump has most likely ruled out presidential primary rival Nikki Haley as a vice-president.
Trump made the comments about Haley — who he appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during his term in the Oval Office — at a Friday rally in Concord, New Hampshire.
“She is OK, but she is not presidential timber. And when I say that, that probably means she is not going to be chosen as the vice president,” Trump said.
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Trump said he did not have faith in the former U.N. ambassador’s ability to handle tough negotiations with leaders of rival countries.
“I know her very well. She’s not tough enough. She’s not smart enough. And she wasn’t respected enough. She cannot do this job,” he continued. “She’s not going to be able to deal with President Xi. She’s not going to be able to deal with Putin.”
Trump remained cryptic with his remarks, saying immediately after the “presidential timber” comment that such a public statement meant he wouldn’t be able to walk back the evaluation of her character.
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“When you say certain things, it sort of takes them out of play, right?” the former president taunted. “I can’t say, ‘She’s not of the timber to be the vice president’ and then say, ‘Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to announce that I’ve picked.'”
Haley made a parallel promise on the same day while stopping at a diner in Amherst ahead of the state primary.
“I don’t want to be anybody’s vice president. That is off the table,” Haley said. “I have always said that. That is a game they play that I’m not going to play. I don’t want to be vice president.”
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Haley, down by double digits to Trump in the latest surveys four days ahead of the New Hampshire primary, is taking every chance she has to blast the GOP front-runner.
“You look at Iowa. I mean President Trump won a state of three million people with 56,000 votes. We had a very low turnout in Iowa. We’re going to have a really good turnout in New Hampshire,” Haley told reporters at her first retail stop Friday morning as she pilloried Trump’s landslide victory in Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
During a campaign event in Rochester, Haley criticized Trump for his past support for increasing the federal gas tax and raising the retirement age and accused him of lying about her record.
Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.