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Trump rival, former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, says in November she'll vote for Trump

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

After months of speculation, Nikki Haley says she will vote for Donald Trump in November. Trump's strongest challenger in the Republican primaries held back from endorsing him until now. Here's NPR's Sarah McCammon.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Haley announced her plans to vote for Trump during an appearance at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., which she recently joined. During a speech focused largely on foreign policy, Haley offered critiques of both parties. Then she was asked who she thinks would do a better job in the White House.

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NIKKI HALEY: Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I've made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe, so I will be voting for Trump.

MCCAMMON: During her campaign, Haley described Trump as unhinged and full of chaos. When she suspended her campaign in March, Haley said it was now up to Donald Trump to earn the support of voters who'd backed her. Speaking at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday afternoon, Haley reiterated that.

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HALEY: Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they're just going to be with him, and I genuinely hope he does that.

MCCAMMON: President Biden's campaign has made an explicit bid for Haley voters, saying, quote, "there is a place for you in my campaign." In a statement, a Biden campaign spokesman noted that millions of Republican voters continued to cast their ballots against Donald Trump in the primaries and suggested those voters should back Biden. Even after exiting the Republican primary, Haley has won significant support in several states where her name remained on the ballot, getting roughly one in five Republican votes in states including Indiana, Nebraska and Maryland.

Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.