Former South Carolina governor and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley (R) really wants to be president.

What is not quite as clear is in which party she intends to run; it seems she wants to run in some future GOP that has memory-holed President Trump and his 75 million voters.

The Seattle Times reports:

Nikki Haley, a U.N. ambassador under President Donald Trump who left his administration without the drama or ill will that marred most of its high-level departures, sharply criticized her former boss in an interview published Friday, saying that she was “disgusted” by his conduct Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riot.

Haley, 49, who is widely believed to be considering a run for president in 2024, told Politico that she did not believe the former president would remain a dominant force within the Republican Party or that he would seek office again, arguing that he had “lost any sort of political viability.”

“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” Haley said. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”

. . . . But after Jan. 6, Haley told the publication that she had previously urged Trump to be more “careful” with his words, to no avail.

“He went down a path he shouldn’t have,” she said, referring to his deception about the election. “And we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

In that moment, Haley’s remarks showed that she was willing to entertain a political proposition that most other Republicans with eyes on the White House had not dared to utter publicly: that Trump’s hold over the GOP base will loosen, and that he will not be the kingmaker many have predicted.

It seems plausible that Haley is putting all her presidential aspirational eggs in a wishful Trumpism will dissipate basket, but that seems a rather risky gamble, particularly in light of the blowback against House and Senate Republicans who voted to impeach and/or convict him.

Republicans, both anti- and pro-Trump, are not impressed.

The Seattle Times continues:

Some Republicans said Haley’s comments were simply acknowledging reality. As a politician who is more comfortable with the establishment wing of the GOP, she has not always had the trust of Trump’s base. And in a crowded 2024 presidential primary, she would face stiff competition for those votes.

“You didn’t have to be clairvoyant to see which way Nikki Haley would go once Donald Trump lost,” said Sam Nunberg, a consultant who worked for Trump. “She was never going to be able to take the Trump mantle.”

To other Republicans, her words of regret were too little, too late given her earlier deference toward Trump. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who has become one of the most outspoken critics of his party since the Capitol attack, accused Haley of playing “both sides.” On Twitter, he urged her to “Pick Country First or Trump First.”

Breitbart has more on Haley’s (mis?)calculation:

“I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” she said, without offering evidence. “I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”

Twitter lit up with reactions to Haley throwing Trump under that bus:

 

 
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