(LifeSiteNews) – Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign once again refused to rule out speculation that he will select as his running mate his former United Nations Ambassador and Republican primary opponent Nikki Haley, who recently refused to affirm that biological men cannot become women.
The New York Post reported that during a recent conversation, Trump 2024 senior adviser Jason Miller said it was “pretty safe to say it won’t be” businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who dropped out of the Republican primary and endorsed Trump on Monday night after winning just 7.7% of the vote and three delegates in the Iowa Caucuses.
All year, Ramaswamy ran a campaign that was strictly complimentary and deferential to ostensible opponent Trump, prompting speculation as to his true goal. Over the weekend, Trump and several of his top social media surrogates abruptly turned on Ramaswamy as “not MAGA.”
However, Miller was far less committal on the prospect of Trump joining forces with Haley, who in addition to representing his administration at the UN served as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017. The adviser merely “said he would let Trump speak about his decision,” the Post reported.
While a darling of some in the Republican establishment and the deep donor pockets of the libertarian Koch network, Haley is out of step with the Republican base on numerous issues. She has preached “consensus” on abortion and that pro-lifers aren’t nice enough to the other side, opposed Florida governor and 2024 opponent Ron DeSantis’s revocation of special government privileges to leftist corporation Disney, briefly called for an end to online anonymity, is more hawkish on foreign policy than the populist sentiment currently dominant in conservative media, as governor bowed to left-wing pressure to endorse removing the Confederate Flag from the state capitol, and in 2020 promoted Black Lives Matter’s false claim that a noose had been placed in the garage of black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
Most recently, during a presidential town hall, Haley took a question from a voter who said he was “really bothe[ed]” by a September interview with Megyn Kelly in which Trump “had trouble answering the question, could a man become a woman? And I’m just wondering what, what your response to that question is?”
Haley responded by first arguing that while “Trump was the right president at the right time,” “rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him,” thanks in part to “how he communicates.” She then declared that “we should not allow any gender change surgeries to anyone before the age of 18. Period,” and that “after the age of 18, we want to make sure people can live any way they want to live.”
“I don’t think we should ever in any way have any sort of permanent changes” with minors, she concluded, “but after 18, I’m not going to say anything.” She ended without ever answering the original question.
“She was asked the most basic question – is the sky blue, is the grass green, does the alphabet start with ‘A’ – and failed the test,” Kelly opined. “Nikki Haley knows very well what the answer to that is, but it was a pander to the radical, activist rabid trans representatives.”
Nevertheless, for weeks speculation has run rampant about a Trump-Haley ticket, with possible explanations ranging from placating Republican elites ambivalent about Trump, to Trump getting access to Haley’s donors to help offset his legal bills. Various MAGA influencers have recoiled at the chatter, which Haley has bristled at but not explicitly ruled out. Trump himself, who continues to belittle Haley as “Birdbrain” and a “Globalist RINO,” said last week that he “know[s] who it’s going to be,” an announcement his campaign later downplayed as not having been discussed in “any great detail.”
Trump maintains a commanding lead for the Republican presidential nomination. He won his first primary victory on Monday in the Iowa caucuses, receiving 51% of the vote and 20 delegates to DeSantis’s 21% and nine delegates, and Haley’s 19% and eight delegates.
Fluctuating national polls currently have Trump narrowly leading a close race with Biden should the former president be nominated, although voters also say that potential convictions in his various ongoing trials will make them less likely to support him. It’s also speculated that Democrats may replace Biden with a younger Democrat such as Gavin Newsom or Dean Phillips, and it is not yet certain which candidate would lose more votes to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential run.