Nikki Haley's No Trump Cheerleader, But Got UN Job Anyway

Nov 23, 2016

Gov. Nikki Haley
Credit South Carolina Government

So South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is headed to New York, to represent the U.S. at the United Nations. Her appointment by president-elect Donald Trump was a bit of a surprise, given that she hasn't been a big Trump supporter.

During the primary campaign, she backed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. When he dropped out, she threw her support to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  She later endorsed Trump, albeit very lukewarmly.  

Haley talked about the election results in a speech Friday, Nov. 18, to the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention: 

"While I won't pretend to have always been president-elect's biggest cheerleader … I did vote for him. And I was absolutely thrilled to see him win," Haley said, in the speech carried by C-SPAN.

The two even exchanged Twitter fire during the campaign, after Haley criticized Trump for not releasing his tax return.

By the way, Haley's speech Friday came a day after she visited the Trump Tower in New York to talk with the president-to-be about a role in the Trump administration. 

In that speech, Haley also had some harsh words for fellow Republicans, saying voters didn't pick him because he had an "R" next to his name. She said the party needs to embrace its traditional values to make sure it keeps momentum.

But, noting that Trump's win was accompanied by Republican victories in Congress and statehouses nationwide, Haley said the party has an opportunity to reshape the country.

If Haley wins Senate confirmation to the U.N. job, she would be replaced as governor by Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster - a Trump man from the beginning. 

- David Boraks and Chris Miller