“He walked a path he shouldn’t take,” she said, referring to his cheating about the elections. “We should not have followed and should not listen. We cannot let that happen again.”
At that moment, Ms. Haley’s remarks showed that she was willing to accept a political proposal that most other Republicans looking to the White House had not dared to state publicly: that Mr. Trump’s grip on the Republican base would fade, and that he would not be the kingmaker many had expected.
Whatever his caliber or qualifications, Ms. Haley’s approach is a departure from that of other conservatives who are believed to have ambitions for a higher office. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, Who provided credibility Regarding Mr. Trump’s allegations of voter fraud, he refused to acknowledge that his actions played any role in inciting violence on January 6. Former Vice President Mike Pence hasn’t said anything publicly since Forced to flee the Senate hall Under armed escort, rioters stormed the Capitol, partly encouraged by Mr Trump’s attacks on the Vice President on Twitter not to interfere with the election certification.
Ms. Haley made special reference to Trump’s treatment of Mr. Pence, seeming almost dismissive of the former president as she expressed her displeasure. “Mike was nothing but loyal to that man,” she said.
Some Republicans said Ms. Haley’s comments were merely an endorsement of reality. As a politician who feels more comfortable with the institutional wing of the Republican Party, she hasn’t always had the confidence of Mr. Trump’s base. And in a crowded presidential primary election in 2024, they will face stiff competition for those votes.
“You didn’t have to be a clairvoyant to see which direction Nikki Haley would go once Donald Trump was lost,” said Sam Nonberg, a consultant who worked with Mr. Trump. “You wouldn’t be able to assume the mantle of Trump.”
For other Republicans, her words of regret were too little, too late given her previous respect for Mr. Trump. Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, who has become one of his party’s most outspoken critics since the Capitol attack, Accused Mrs. Haley who played “both sides”. Urging her on Twitter to “pick country first or Trump first”.