Former President Donald Trump during the Florida Freedom Summit in Kissimmee, Fla. (File)

Trump Publicly Rules Out Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley As VP Pick

Former President Donald Trump during the Florida Freedom Summit in Kissimmee, Fla. (File)
Former President Donald Trump during the Florida Freedom Summit in Kissimmee, Fla. (File)

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley delivered her clearest answer yet on Friday over whether she’s open to being former President Donald Trump’s running mate should he win the GOP nomination in 2024, saying she “doesn’t play for second.”

Trump concurred, “She is not presidential timber. Now, when I say that, that probably means that she’s not going to be chosen as the vice president,” Trump said in New Hampshire Friday.

Haley has maintained for months that she “doesn’t play for second” when asked if she’d accept such a position from the former president, who currently leads the Republican primary field by double digits nationally and in key early nominating states in the RealClearPolitics (RCP) averages.

Read: Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Endorses Nikki Haley Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary

After previously refusing to rule it out, the former governor told voters at a New Hampshire diner that being Trump’s vice president “is off the table.”

“I’ve said from the very beginning: I don’t play for second. I don’t want to be anybody’s vice president. That is off the table,” Haley told a New Hampshire man, per the outlet.

Haley served under the Trump administration for nearly two years as U.N. ambassador before resigning to join the private sector in late 2018.

Other GOP hopefuls, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have also ruled out being Trump’s running mate if asked.

DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has since suspended his campaign, both criticized Haley for not explicitly answering whether she would take such a position.

Read: Florida Rep. Greg Steube And Nevada Rep. Titus Lead Effort To Hold NIH Accountable For Cruel Animal Testing

The former ambassador gave another slightly toned-down version of her Friday remarks to local station WMUR on Tuesday, telling the outlet, “I do not want to be vice president. Period. I don’t know how many more times I can say that.”

While Haley came in third place in Iowa on Monday behind DeSantis and the former president, she’s nearly 14 points behind Trump in the RCP average for New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. The former South Carolina governor is also polling in second for her home state’s primary on Feb. 24.

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