Nikki Haley to Utah Republicans: Where do you want the party to go?

Feb 28, 2024, 8:17 PM | Updated: Feb 29, 2024, 2:50 pm

OREM — Nikki Haley was in Utah Wednesday making her case for why Utah Republicans should pick her over Donald Trump for the GOP nominee for President.

It comes after a string of recent early state primary and caucus losses, including her home state of South Carolina and a loss in Michigan yesterday. She’s also facing questions over whether she’ll stay in the race after Super Tuesday.

As Haley met with hundreds of supporters in Orem, and with KSL TV earlier in the day, she hammered home the choice facing Utah and the nation’s Republicans over the contrast in her and former President Donald Trump — and dodged questions about her plans after Super Tuesday.

“I think I’ve pretty much put aside the fact that I’m not trying to become vice president. And this is not about any sort of political career. If it was, I’d be out a long time ago. The reason this matters is if you look at what’s happening, this is a shift in the Republican Party,” Haley said.

As for whether she’ll stay in the race after Super Tuesday, Haley says she’s only focused on today.

“I’m not even thinking about that right now.  We’re saying let’s go, we’ve got a lot of states between now and Tuesday,” she told KSL TV in an interview earlier in the day.

Haley did reveal to KSL TV that she’s a definite no when it comes to a third party ticket saying she won’t run on a No Labels ticket.

“I’m a Republican. You go on a No Labels ticket, what does that mean? A Democrat vice president. That’s not who I am. I’m a conservative. I’ve always been a hardcore Republican. I think that this is about the party and this is about the country, and the only way to do it is to do it the right way.”

Haley’s message at UVU

Haley’s UVU speech argued that Donald Trump is taking over the Republican party and making it about him.

She said that Trump is responsible for a large chunk of the nation’s debt, that he is taking the side of dictators like Russian President Vladamir Putin, and that he torpedoed the bipartisan deal on the border.

“What went wrong is Congress should have gotten in a room and not finished until they could pass a strong border bill. But what happened? Donald Trump went and told them, ‘don’t pass anything until after November,’ because it would hurt him in the election,”she said.

She also argued he’s taking over the national Republican Party, through a proposed vote on whether the party can use its funds for Trump’s legal fees.

“The world is on fire, literally. You’ve got a war in Europe. You’ve got a war in the Middle East. You’ve got North Korea testing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S. You’ve got China doing cyber attacks on our infrastructure in Russia. And Russia is doing blinding satellites that will keep us from saying anything that’s coming or any cyber attacks that they do to us. This is the time when America needs a leader that has moral clarity,” Haley said to applause.

She also promised to get the party back to being fiscally conservative by clawing back COVID-19 money and vetoing any new spending bills.

“We’ll stop the spending, we’ll stop the borrowing, we’ll eliminate their earmarks, and I’ll veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre-COVID levels,” she said.
She also said she plans to take as many federal programs as she can and send them to the states to reduce the size of the government.

Haley also urged Utahns to show up to caucus night, on Tuesday, March 5. Registered Republicans will need to find their local precinct.

“This a chance for Utah to show the country the direction that we want to go.”

KSL 5 TV Live

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Nikki Haley to Utah Republicans: Where do you want the party to go?