South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is reportedly going to hand her coveted endorsement to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tonight.
Haley, who currently has an 81 percent approval rating, recently said that she was likely not going to endorse before Saturday’s primary. Local media reported Tuesday she was still making up her mind, though she had made up her mind against Donald Trump.
Her backing comes after Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), originally a Haley appointee, backed his Senate colleague.
CNN reported that Haley will announce her support at a 6 p.m. rally in Chapin, S.C.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw will also campaign with Rubio at the rally.
Haley took veiled shots at Trump while delivering the GOP rebuttal to President Obama’s final State of the Union address last month, calling for inclusiveness and a lower volume of discourse.
The governor stressed that Republicans “need to own that truth” and “recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership.”
“We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken. And then we need to fix it,” she said.
Haley emphasized that she’s the “proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country,” adding “my family didn’t look like our neighbors” and didn’t have much.
“Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation,” she said. “No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country. At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can’t do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally, and in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.”
“We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration and it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion, just like we have for centuries.”
Haley spoke about the “tragic blow” dealt to her state when white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine at the historic Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston in June. The governor hastened the removal of the Confederate flag from state grounds after the massacre.
Haley noted the “important lesson” in her state’s peaceful response to the tragedy: “In many parts of society today, whether in popular culture, academia, the media, or politics, there’s a tendency to falsely equate noise with results.”
“Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That’s just not true,” she said. “Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.”
“We would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy,” Haley said. “We would recognize the importance of the separation of powers and honor the Constitution in its entirety. And yes, that includes the Second and Tenth Amendments. We would make international agreements that were celebrated in Israel and protested in Iran, not the other way around.”
The first woman to serve as governor of South Carolina urged GOPs to “rededicate ourselves to doing whatever it takes to keep America the greatest country in the history of man — and woman.”
In mid-January, Haley told NBC she would be willing to consider running as No. 2 on a presidential ticket.
“If a candidate wanted to sit down and talk, I would sit down and talk,” Haley said.