Nikki Haley Says Trump Can't Win the General Election

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Well, Donald Trump can scratch one more name off his potential veep list and Vivek Ramaswamy’s (or a player to be named later) chances of moving into the  Naval Observatory just got better. Former UN Ambassador and ex-governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley paid a visit to CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday morning to offer her two cents about the 2024 presidential race. She told the panel that she does not think that Trump can win the general election.


Haley was quick to point out that she is not a Trump detractor and that she praises and chides him depending on the circumstances of a comment or action. When pressed by the host to opine if the parade of legal actions against Trump makes him a flawed candidate, Haley commented, “I have said it very clearly that we need a new generational leader. We’ve got to leave this negativity behind.”  She did, however, say that she would support Trump if he got the nomination, stating, “I am not gonna have a President Kamala Harris.” She followed that comment with a remark that, in light of the string of indictments, the GOP could not have Trump as the candidate since he can’t win a general election. She added that Republicans need “someone who can actually win.”  She rejected the idea of being Trump’s veep, saying that she doesn’t “play for second.” She also predicted that once she is on the debate stage next month, her numbers would improve.

Related: Nikki Haley: ‘I Can Be That New Leader’—Or Maybe Not

Haley also made it clear that she sees the 2024 contest shaping up much the same way as in 2016, referencing Ted Cruz’s increasing poll numbers as the race wore on. So she is “in it to win it.” However, the Washington Examiner reported that in a new poll in South Carolina, of all places, Haley placed second, behind Donald Trump. The Examiner reported that Trump took a 34-point lead. Haley picked up 14%. (If you are keeping score, Desantis came in with 13%, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott garnered 10%. The other candidates did not poll in double digits.) Newsmax said that at the recent Turning Point Action Conference, a straw presidential poll resulted in Trump claiming 86%. Haley declined an invitation to attend. Odd, considering the fact that Monday morning she was advocating for a “new generational leader.” There were certainly plenty of “new generational” conservatives at the conference.


Haley might be banking on support from anti-Trump Republicans or those who are just weary of the indictments. And she may think that there are enough people who feel that Trump’s image is tarnished to the point he is no longer a viable candidate. But the current numbers don’t bear that out. Regardless of how Trump is portrayed in the media, unless the man is physically imprisoned, he is almost certainly the presumptive nominee.

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