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Nikki Haley, Don Bolduc
Nikki Haley greets former Don Bolduc at a town hall campaign event, in Exeter, N.H., on Feb. 16, 2023.Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Eyes on 2024: New Hampshire trip reveals Haley’s 2020 tightrope

Republican Don Bolduc, who lost last year's New Hampshire Senate race and denied the 2020 election results, endorsed Haley on Thursday.

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When former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke with TODAY after her presidential announcement this week, she tried to distance herself from former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. 

“Is Joe Biden the president? Yes. Joe Biden is the president. And we shouldn’t question that,” she said. 

Now, as she heads to campaign in New Hampshire, she’s receiving the endorsement of Retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc — the 2022 GOP Senate nominee who repeatedly touted his false belief Trump won the 2020 election while on the trail (even while sometimes trying to walk that back).

Haley campaigned with Bolduc in 2022, along with a handful of other candidates who actively cast doubt on the 2020 election like Georgia Republican Herschel Walker and Nevada Republican Adam Laxalt.

When asked to explain why she campaigned with Laxalt, who called the 2020 election “rigged” and challenged Biden’s victory in Nevada as Trump’s campaign co-chair, Haley said she did so because of Laxalt’s policies on issues like the economy, education and immigration

“The problem is: You’re doing what everybody’s doing. They’re all living in the past,” she said. “What I’m telling you is we have got to start looking forward.” 

In other campaign news…

Romney warns Republicans: Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, is warning his party that Trump remains “by far the most likely to become our nominee” and that the best way to beat him is in a one-on-one race. Romney himself has not yet decided if he’s running for re-election next year, and he’s not expected to decide until the summer, per the Associated Press.

Scott’s test run: Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., appeared to test drive a potential presidential campaign message during a speech on Thursday, NBC News’ Allan Smith reports. 

Culture club: Politico reports on how former Vice President Mike Pence is leaning into the culture war as he readies a likely presidential bid. 

Pledge allegiance to the party: Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel “plans to require all candidates on the official primary debate stages to first pledge their support to the party’s eventual nominee,” per the Washington Post.

Re-run headaches: Politico details how Republicans’ path to victory in 2024 congressional races could be complicated by controversial candidates who lost their 20222 races, but are weighing running again, including Arizona’s Blake Masters and Kari Lake, Ohio’s J.R. Majewski and Washington’s Joe Kent. 

Arizona dreamin’: Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego leads various Arizona Senate matchups in a new online poll from OH Predictive Insights, but a significant number of registered voters remain undecided. 

Manchin’s moneymen: Roll Call looks at the top donors, industries and lobbyists that have helped fill West Virginia Joe Manchin’s campaign coffers