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Nikki Haley announces she’s dropping out of the race for president; watch her speech

Nikki Haley

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is ending her campaign, she said, setting up a rematch of the 2020 election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

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Update:

10:04 a.m. EST March 6: Haley announced to a crowd gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday that she is suspending her run for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

“I said I wanted Americans to have their voices heard. I have done that,” Haley said. “I have no regrets.”

Haley went on to address Trump, urging him to bring her supporters into the fold. “This is now his time for choosing,” she said.

“In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee,” Haley said. “I congratulate him and wish him well. I wish anyone well who would be America’s president.”

However, Haley did not endorse Trump for president on Wednesday and took the opportunity to take a swipe at Biden.

“Our world is on fire because of America’s retreat. Standing by our allies in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan is a moral imperative. But it’s also more than that. If we retreat further, there will be more war, not less.”

She ended her comments by quoting a passage from the Bible that she quoted when she launched her campaign last year.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For God will be with you wherever you go,” Haley said.

Original report:

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and United Nations ambassador, will be in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday morning and is expected to make an appearance to announce she is leaving the race, the Journal reported.

She is expected to speak around 10 a.m. ET.

Haley’s announcement will come a day after she won only one primary -- in Vermont -- out of 15 states holding Republican primaries on Super Tuesday. She made no public appearances Tuesday night.

Losing 14 of 15 races on the day when more than 800 GOP delegates were to be awarded made it nearly impossible to stop Trump from securing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

On Sunday, Haley, 52, made history as the first woman to win a Republican presidential primary when she beat Trump in the District of Columbia, the AP reported. Haley ended her campaign winning 89 GOP delegates.

New York-based Republican donor Eric Levine, a fierce Trump critic, told The Associated Press that he was disappointed by Tuesday’s results and would respect whatever decision she makes about the future of her campaign.

“I’m proud to have supported her and would be proud to support her in the future,” Levine said.

Haley will not endorse Trump today, according to her campaign.

Haley launched her campaign in February 2023, and amid a group that included Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, fellow South Carolinian Sen. Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, she was the last candidate standing against Trump who has bee the front-runner from the start.

While her campaign had a slow start, several strong debate performances last year raised her profile among voters. While at first, she was not vocal in her criticism of Trump, her remarks about the man who appointed her as UN ambassador became more pointed.

Haley said last month that the former president was “diminished” and “unhinged,” explaining away her past support for Trump by bluntly saying “he is not the same person he was in 2016,” NBC reported.

“I have no fear of Trump’s retribution,” she told supporters.

“I will take the bruises. I will take the cuts. This is going to be messy and I’ll take the hurt, because I believe nothing good comes easy. Sometimes we have to feel pain to appreciate the blessing.”

Check back for more on this developing story.