Nikki Haley Says She'll Vote for Donald Trump in November, but She Has Some Advice for His Campaign

When Haley suspended her presidential bid in March after a hard-fought challenge to Trump, she stopped short of backing the man she's repeatedly characterized as unfit for office

<p>AP Photo/Morry Gash(2)</p> Nikki Haley (left), Donald Trump

AP Photo/Morry Gash(2)

Nikki Haley (left), Donald Trump

Nikki Haley revealed on Wednesday, May 22, that she will vote for Donald Trump for president, after previously withholding her support.

Even in doing so, she reiterated her belief that Trump "has not been perfect" on policy issues, and shared some advice for his campaign.

“Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me, and not assume that they’re just going to be with him," she said in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday during her first public remarks since dropping out of the race. "And I genuinely hope he does that."

Related: Nikki Haley Drops Out of Republican Presidential Race, Leaving Only Donald Trump

Haley, 52, was elected South Carolina's first female governor in 2010 and served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump from January 2017 until her resignation in December 2018.

She officially declared her candidacy for president in early 2023, ultimately suspending her 2024 presidential campaign in early March.

Haley has, since leaving the Trump administration, both embraced and pushed back against her former boss, at one point calling his rhetoric "so unnecessary" and at another saying he "tells the world what it needs to hear."

But as a presidential candidate, she was even more forceful, calling 77-year-old Trump "the most disliked politician in America" during a primary debate hosted by Fox News.

<p>JULIA NIKHINSON/AFP via Getty</p> Nikki Haley speaks during a South Carolina presidential campaign event on Feb. 24, 2024


Nikki Haley speaks during a South Carolina presidential campaign event on Feb. 24, 2024

While Haley emerged as the strongest challenger to Trump early in the 2024 race, the former president secured victory after victory once voting season began. After Super Tuesday, at which point she had only won in Vermont and Washington, D.C., her fate was sealed.

Saying she was "filled with gratitude" for the support she had received in the little more than a year since launching her campaign, Haley told a South Carolina crowd at the time. "I wanted Americans to have their voices heard. I have done that. I have no regrets."

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Elsewhere in her remarks, she said, "In all likelihood Donald Trump will be the party nominee," adding, "I wish him well."

But she stopped short of endorsing the former president at the time, citing a quote by late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that says, "Never just follow the crowd, always make up your own mind."

Related: Ron DeSantis and Other Republican Candidates Show Support for Donald Trump in First 2024 Debate

"It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in the party who did not support him," Haley added. And it appears he has.

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