Prominent conservative figures urge Nikki Haley to drop out of GOP primary race

 February 10, 2024

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is the last remaining major challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination that he has all but officially wrapped up after just a handful of early caucuses and primary elections.

Haley has insisted that she is in the primary contest for the long run, but now a group of prominent conservative figures -- not all of whom are Trump supporters -- urged Haley in a letter to reconsider and drop out of the race, the Washington Examiner reported.

The group argued that Haley's continued candidacy, and continued attacks against the frontrunner former president, are doing more harm than good for the GOP and Trump's chances for victory in a likely November rematch of the 2020 election against President Joe Biden.

"We applaud your efforts, but your candidacy is over"

The Examiner reported exclusively on the letter to Haley that was signed by prominent conservatives like "former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, former Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen, Conservative Action Project Chairman Kenneth Blackwell, Conservative Leadership PAC Chairman Morton Blackwell, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, Counterpoint Institute President Dr. Shea Bradley-Farrell, Tea Party Patriots Chairwoman Jenny Beth Martin, American Lands Council President Myron Ebell, Chairman Richard Viguerie, presidential historian Craig Shirley, American Spectator Publisher R. Emmett Tyrrell, and former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese."

That letter to Haley said, "While you have waged a spirited campaign for the 2024 Republican Party nomination, it is clear you cannot win the GOP nomination," and stated bluntly, "We applaud your efforts, but your candidacy is over."

The group highlighted the 1964 GOP primary contest between then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and then-Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and observed how Rockefeller remained in the race "too long, even when it was apparent he had lost the nomination," and how, "As a result, Rockefeller ended up hated by the rank and file of the GOP. Do you really want to become the Nelson Rockefeller of the 21st century?"

The letter concluded, "Please withdraw from the race now, endorse Donald Trump, and another year will beckon," and added, "This action by you would be the better part of valor."

Haley "not going anywhere" after RNC's McDaniel suggests she drop out

This is certainly not the first time there have been public calls for Haley to drop out. Still, those calls have grown louder and more strident as the former South Carolina governor appears increasingly likely to face an embarrassingly decisive defeat in her home state's upcoming primary to the former president that she once worked for and supported.

For her part, Haley has been defiantly resistant to the demands that she end her campaign, and PBS reported just last week that Haley insisted to reporters, "I am not going anywhere," and explained, "We have a country to save. And I am determined to keep on going the entire way. As long as we can keep closing that gap, I’m gonna keep staying in."

Those remarks came just about one week after Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appeared to strongly suggest that Haley should drop out, as Semafor reported in late January that McDaniel said in a Fox News interview, "I’m looking at the map and the path going forward and I don’t see it for Nikki Haley."

"I think she has run a great campaign, but I do think there is a message that is coming out from the voters, which is very clear: We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump. And we need to make sure we beat Joe Biden," the RNC leader added.

Report: RNC officials want Haley to drop out soon

The dropout call from McDaniel for Haley had sparked some controversy at the time, as it was viewed by some as premature or as evidence of partiality for the frontrunning candidate that undermines the RNC's claims of neutrality.

A lot has changed over just a couple of weeks, however, as The Guardian reported this week that support has grown substantially among top RNC officials for Haley to finally end her unwinnable bid for the nomination, cease her incessant attacks against Trump, and fall in line in support of the seemingly apparent presumptive nominee.

While pleas for party unity will likely be the public message behind any RNC push for Haley to drop out, the reality of the situation, according to The Guardian's sources, is a desire by RNC officials to dispense with the formalities and launch a joint fundraising effort with the Trump campaign to help bolster its own coffers and make up for its own fundraising shortfalls over the past months and years.

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