Nikki Haley, a former United Nations ambassador, has announced she will run for the Republican’s 2024 presidential nomination – becoming the first major challenger to Donald Trump.
Haley, who served in the UN role under Trump’s previous administration, is the second Republican candidate to announce her candidacy after her former boss launched his own campaign to be re-elected last year.
Other high-profile Republicans looking at a 2024 run include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former vice president Mike Pence, US Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor, announced her decision to run in a promotional video, in which she said it was time for a “new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose”.
The 51-year-old Republican also proclaimed that China and Russia were “on the march”, adding: “You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies.
“And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”
Haley will lay out her campaign plans in a speech in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
Her announcement means the Republican nomination race is likely to pick up steam in the coming weeks.
Other candidates to have so far declared include former Mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, Steve Laffey, and former Montana Secretary of State, Corey Stapleton.
Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram pages are restored after ban
Mike Pence’s team denies he has filed to run for president in 2024
Haley, the daughter of two Indian immigrants, has gained a reputation in the Republican Party as a solid conservative.
She has pitched herself as a stalwart defender of American interests abroad, having served as US ambassador to
the UN under Trump from 2017 to 2018.
During that time, the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed under Democratic President Barack Obama and was highly unpopular among Republicans.
Haley has distanced herself from Trump several times, only to later soften her rhetoric, saying he has an important role to play in the Republican Party.
What do the polls say?
- Donald Trump – 43%
- Ron DeSantis – 31%
- Nikki Haley – 4%
- Poll by Reuters/Ipsos – published on 14 February