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Nikki Haley knocks down the possibility of a third-party No Labels bid

In World
March 01, 2024

WASHINGTON — Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Friday that she has not spoken to “anybody” about a third-party bid with No Labels — despite what she called their “smoke signals” of interest in her — citing a misalignment of her conservative goals with that of a would-be Democratic running mate.

“I’m a Republican,” Haley said in an hour-long conversation with a small group of invited reporters here, making her most extensive comments about a No Labels bid to date. “If I were to do No Labels, that would require a Democrat. I can’t do what I wanted to express with the Democrats.”

“I’ve always believed if you do something, do it right or don’t do it,” she continued. “And so I don’t think I can do it right. If I ran for No Labels, that would mean it’s about me. It’s not about me. It’s about the direction I think the country should go.”

Haley’s comments knocking down the possibility of a run with No Labels comes even as the group has said it could put forward a ticket with a Republican and an independent, rather than a Democrat. No Labels delegates plan to meet virtually on March 8 to decide whether to go forward with a presidential campaign.

Haley has repeatedly said she’s focused on the Republican primary, shifting the goal posts again Friday that she’ll stay in the race for “as long as we’re competitive.”

She declined to answer how long she planned to in the race as she faces an uphill climb against former President Donald Trump heading into Super Tuesday on March 5, the day with the most delegates at stake on the 2024 nominating calendar.

“I don’t know that I’m ending my bid for president,” Haley said. “If you’re in the race, the last thing you think about is not being in the race.”

The former South Carolina governor has been barnstorming Super Tuesday states while also fundraising aggressively. Asked by NBC News what the money she’s raising is for — especially when her private pitch doesn’t make assurances past Super Tuesday — Haley pushed back against the premise of the question.

“They don’t ask me, ‘What’s your strategy?’ They don’t ask me, ‘What’s your plan?’” Haley said. “All they say is, ‘Thank you for giving me hope. … What they do say is, ‘Keep fighting.’”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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