Not interested in being vice president: Nikki Haley

WASHINGTON: Indian-American senior Republican Party leader Nikki Haley, the lone woman in the party’s presidential race, has said she is not interested in being the vice president, asserting that she’s running to be the next US president and is contending “to win”. Haley’s remarks came ahead of the Iowa caucuses on Monday, which formally kicks off the beginning of the long process by which the Republicans and Democrats choose their nominees for the presidential election on November 5.
Replying to a question about how she felt about some voters saying they would prefer her as a vice president rather than a president, the 51-year-old former US Ambassador to the UN said, “I don’t play for a second. I’ve never played for a second. I’m not going to start now.”
“I’m not interested in being vice president. I’m running to be president, and I’m running to win, and we will,” the former South Carolina governor said in a CBS News interview.
With the Republican contest to choose the nominee for the November 2024 presidential elections beginning on Monday with the Iowa caucus, former president Donald Trump, a front-runner among the party candidates, maintains a sizable lead over Haley, his nearest rival.
According to the latest Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll, 48 per cent of likely Republican caucusgoers pick Trump, 77, as their first choice for president – a slight dip from the 51 per cent who said the same in December.
Haley has the support of 20 per cent, an increase of four per cent, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slipped to third place with 16 per cent. Vivek Ramasway, another India-American in the race, though still in the race, has now fallen back, and experts don’t see much hope for the 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur during the primary season beginning on Monday.
On being pressed further on what she would say to voters who like her for vice president but who are still backing Trump, the lone woman in the party’s presidential race said, “Well, I think look, if you want four more years of chaos, that’s what you’re gonna get.”
“But what’s more concerning is, you look at those head-to-head polls, Trump and Biden are pretty much even. It’s going to be a nail-biter of an election. We’re going to be holding our breath – I don’t want a President Kamala Harris,” The Hill newspaper quoted her as saying.
On Sunday, the Indian-American politician said that the Republican contest to choose the presidential nominee is going to be a two-person race between her and Trump.
“What you’re going to see is this is quickly going to become a two-person race. I think it’s going to be me and Donald Trump going into New Hampshire. And you’re going to see it’s already close. It’s going to get even closer. And then we’re going to take it to my state in South Carolina,” Haley told Fox News in an interview on Sunday.
Haley’s popularity rating has increased in the last couple of weeks, with many experts now believing she is a viable candidate against popular Trump.
“This is going to be definitely an election with two people going into New Hampshire and then into South Carolina. And so we’ll take him on. If he chooses not to debate, that’s his plan. But we’re going to fight this until the very end. We very much see a path,” she said.
Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to immigrant Punjabi Sikh parents in Bamberg, she is the two-term Governor of South Carolina.
The New Hampshire primary election is scheduled for January 23, followed by South Carolina on February 3. Source

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