With Nikki Haley Out, Biden Makes Appeal To Her Trump-Skeptic Voters

"There is a place for them in my campaign," the president said of voters who'd backed Haley, who just suspended her campaign.

President Joe Biden held out an olive branch to Republican voters who cast their ballot for Nikki Haley on Wednesday, right after the former South Carolina governor announced her withdrawal from the GOP presidential primary.

Haley, who was the first Republican to challenge Trump in the 2024 presidential race, suspended her campaign after a massive loss on Super Tuesday. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was the last GOP candidate to drop out in what started as a crowded field of Trump challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“It takes a lot of courage to run for President — that’s especially true in today’s Republican Party, where so few dare to speak the truth about Donald Trump,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Nikki Haley was willing to speak the truth about Trump: about the chaos that always follows him, about his inability to see right from wrong, about his cowering before [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

In her speech in her home state of South Carolina announcing the end of her campaign, Haley said she was “filled with gratitude” for her supporters and had “no regrets” about her decision to run for president. But while she congratulated Trump on being the presumptive GOP nominee, Haley did not specifically endorse him — instead challenging him to earn her voters’ support.

Back in January, Trump posted on Truth Social that anyone who makes a contribution to the former governor — who he referred to as “Birdbrain” — will be “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”

“We don’t want them, and will not accept them, because Put America First, and ALWAYS WILL!” he wrote at the time.

Biden said that those comments had “made it clear” Trump does not want Haley’s supporters. But with the former president now serving as the party’s presumptive GOP nominee, Biden must now try to win the support of moderate Republicans, centrist independents and other swing voters who don’t want to cast their ballot for a candidate facing 91 felony charges.

“I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign,” Biden wrote. “I know there is a lot we won’t agree on. But on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, on preserving NATO and standing up to America’s adversaries, I hope and believe we can find common ground.”

Exit polls showed that Trump lost moderate and liberal voters to Haley by a wide margin, with about 40% of voters in South Carolina’s Republican primary rejecting the former president. Between 61% and 76% of Haley’s supporters said they would not vote for Trump in the November general election if he were the GOP nominee, according to AP VoteCast surveys conducted among Republican primary and caucus voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

“We all know this is no ordinary election. And the stakes for America couldn’t be higher. I know that Democrats and Republicans and Independents disagree on many issues and hold strong convictions,” Biden said in his statement. “That’s a good thing. That’s what America stands for.”

“But I also know this: what united Democrats and Republicans and Independents is a love for America.”

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