By Zachary Stieber
Former Trump administration official Nikki Haley said over the weekend she’s considering launching a 2024 presidential bid.
“A lot of people have asked if I’m going to run for president now that the midterms are over, I’ll look at it in a serious way and I’ll have more to say soon,” Haley said during an appearance at a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting.
Haley, 50, was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations while President Donald Trump, 76, was in office.
If Haley runs, she’d be reneging on a promise she made in 2021.
“I would not run if President Trump ran,” Haley said at the time.
Trump recently launched a 2024 bid.
“If my family and I decided to continue our life of service, we will put 1,000 percent into it and we’ll finish it,” Haley said on Nov. 19 during the meeting in Nevada.
Haley trumpeted her winning contested elections, including for a U.S. House of Representatives seat and to become the governor of South Carolina.
“I’ve been the underdog every single time,” Haley said. “When people underestimate me, it’s always fun, but I’ve never lost an election and I’m not going to start now.”
Haley did not mention Trump in her speech.
Other potential 2024 GOP contenders speaking at the meeting included Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 58.
DeSantis, 44, pointed to how he easily won reelection in the midterms and told the crowd that “we’ve got a lot more to do and I have only begun to fight.”
He said that drawing votes from independent voters was key to the large margin.
“You don’t get that type of victory only getting Republicans. What we did is, we had a great Republican turnout, very energized base of supporters, But we also decisively won the middle,” DeSantis said. “We won more Democrats than any governor has done for a long time. We’re winning people regardless of these boxes that the media always wants to put people in.”
DeSantis said attracting such a “huge coalition” was possible “because, I think, most people realize there’s a lot that’s gone wrong in our country, particularly over the last two years,” adding: “Florida really is showing a way out of this morass. But you got to be willing to do it and you got to be successful in implementing.”
DeSantis did not mention 2024 and recently declined to address speculation he’ll run.
Pence, 63, fresh off a media tour in which he criticized Trump, said that the Trump administration “changed history” by decimating ISIS and taking other actions, such as cracking down on illegal immigration.
Pence also said he believes the next president will be a Republican and said that Republicans “must unite our party around a bold, optimistic agenda that offers a clear choice and lays of lasting foundation for victory in 2024 and beyond.”
“I don’t know what the future holds, for my family or yours,” he added later.
Pence has not ruled out a 2024 bid.
Pompeo, who has said Trump’s announcement would not affect his upcoming decision on whether to run, said that “it will take a long time to reverse the things that are happening to our nation.” He also noted that he’s been described as Trump’s most loyal Cabinet member.
“This loyalty, this work we must do together is not to a person. This loyalty I executed alongside vice president pence for four years was to our nation, to a common cause. I was loyal. I worked hard,” Pompeo said. “I did every day everything I could to honor and be loyal to the oath that I took when I raised my right hand to defend the country. It wasn’t a loyalty to a person or party or a faction, it was to you [the audience] in the promises we had made to the United States of America.”
Other speakers included Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), 57, who Haley appointed to the Senate and who has since won two elections to keep the seat; Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, 66, who was prevented from running for reelection due to term limits and spoke out against the Trump-backed Republican nominee who vied to replace him but lost to Democrat Wes Moore; and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), 51 who tried a presidential bid in 2016 and who said he’d be running for another term in Congress in 2024.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), 57, who is seeking to become the next speaker after Republicans flipped the House, also spoke.
During Trump’s speech, he said that “breaking the radical Democrats’ grip on Congress this month was vital” but that the GOP needed to “take the fight straight to [President] Joe Biden and his radical and incompetent administration.”
Trump said he would win in 2024 and with the victory, “we will end Joe Biden’s inflation nightmare and rapidly rebuild the greatest economy in the history of the world” in addition to securing the border, bringing back manufacturing from China, and boosting energy production.