Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley shot down persistent rumors on Tuesday that she is vying to replace Vice President Mike Pence on the top of the ticket in the 2020 presidential election.
“I will tell you, it is amazing how this vice president stuff still keeps coming up,” Haley told Fox News host Dana Perino when confronted with the allegations.
“The vice president and the president are a great ticket together,” she continued. “They’re solid. Solid enough that they are going to win together. There is no truth whatsoever that I would ever in any way look to get that position. I think Mike is great for that job and I think that he’s the right partner for the president.”
The former governor of South Carolina is largely seen as a leading conservative woman in the Republican Party. After Haley resigned from her United Nations ambassadorship somewhat unexpectedly, speculation began swirling that she might be considering her own challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020 for the presidency. Haley, however, swiftly denied any potential for the a presidential run.
“For all of you that are going to ask about 2020 — no, I am not running for 2020,” Haley said alongside Trump at the time of her resignation. “I can promise you what I will be doing is campaigning for this one. So, I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Only months after leaving the Trump administration at the end of 2018, Haley launched Stand For America, an advocacy group that promotes “public policies that strengthen America’s economy, culture, and national security.” The move prompted speculation further that she might be positioning herself to replace Pence as Trump’s running mate on the next ticket.
“Enough of the false rumors,” Haley tweeted in August 2019. “Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the president. He has my complete support.”
Enough of the false rumors. Vice President Pence has been a dear friend of mine for years. He has been a loyal and trustworthy VP to the President. He has my complete support. ❤️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/waPyQjC8Eb
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) August 21, 2019
While promoting her recently released book, “With All Due Respect: Defending America With Grit And Grace,” Haley appeared live on NBC’s “Today Show” on Tuesday where she provided an unequivocal defense of the president.
“I never had any concern on whether he could handle the job, ever … In every instance that I dealt with him he was truthful, he listened, and he was great to work with,” Haley replied when questioned about his capacity for the presidency. She further noted that she believes he is a “truthful” leader.
Although Haley has at times been critical of Trump, she has also become a close ally of his over time. The relationship between the duo has evolved since she initially endorsed Trump’s primary challenger Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) during the 2016 election cycle, and later announced she was would be voting for Trump during the general election despite saying she was still “not a fan.”
The response drew the ire of Trump, who stated at the time that “the people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”
Haley notably replied, “Bless your heart.”