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Haley insists she’ll stay in White House race after South Carolina primary

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley Associated Press/Photo by Meg Kinnard

Haley insists she’ll stay in White House race after South Carolina primary

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Tuesday, during a “State of the Race” speech in Greenville, S.C., addressed speculation about whether she would be leaving the race: “I’m not going anywhere.”

Why is there a question about her dropping out? Former President Donald Trump has beaten Haley over the last three presidential primary races—except for the Nevada primary, which he didn’t compete in earlier this month. In that primary, the option of “none of these candidates” received more votes than Haley. According to aggregate polling by RealClear Politics, Trump is leading Haley by more than 20 points among Republican voters in South Carolina. During a hot mic moment just minutes before he withdrew from the race earlier this year, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, “She’s gonna get smoked,” in an apparent reference to Haley’s chances against Trump.

Why did she say she was staying in? She acknowledged that dropping out would be easy, but “I’ve never taken the easy route.” She said that many Republicans who are publicly supporting Trump privately “dread” him. “They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party,” she said. Haley added that the presidential primaries have barely begun. Trump’s campaign released a memo on Tuesday saying, “The end is near for Nikki Haley.”

Did Haley say anything else notable? Haley left the topic of abortion largely unaddressed in her speech. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America last year celebrated Haley’s announcement that she was running for president. Several months later, the organization criticized a statement she made that it was “not realistic” to try to institute federal legislation protecting unborn babies after a certain number of weeks’ gestation. Haley has maintained that she wants to pursue “consensus” and is willing to compromise to achieve workable legislation. She has also refused to support federal legislation protecting unborn babies after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Dig deeper: Read Lillian Hamman’s report in Vitals about GOP candidates’ varying stances on abortion.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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