Nikki Haley says she’s no longer bound by RNC pledge to endorse Trump if he wins

In an interview with “Meet the Press,” Haley dodged, saying, “When you all ask Donald Trump if he would support me, then I will talk about that.”


Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley no longer feels bound by a pledge made to the Republican National Committee that she would support the GOP presidential nominee, she said in an interview that aired Sunday.

Asked by NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker, “So you’re no longer bound by that pledge?” Haley responded that she was not obligated to endorse former President Donald Trump if he becomes the Republican nominee.

“No, I think I’ll make what decision I want to make, but that’s not something I’m thinking about,” she said, noting that “if you talk about an endorsement, you’re talking about a loss. I don’t think like that.”

She added, “When you’re in a race, you don’t think about losing. You think about continuing to go forward.”

Pressed further about whether voters who will head to the polls in the GOP presidential primary on Tuesday deserve to know where she stands on endorsing Trump, Haley continued to dodge the question, saying, “When you all ask Donald Trump if he would support me, then I will talk about that. But right now, my focus is, ‘How do we touch as many voters? How do we win?’”

The statement is an apparent shift from her previous attitude toward a potential endorsement. Asked in July whether she would support Trump if he wins, Haley told Fox News, “I would support him because I’m not going to have a President Kamala Harris,” referring to the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris would become president if anything were to happen to President Joe Biden in a second term.

In order to participate in primary debates hosted by the Republican National Committee last fall, every candidate signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. Haley signed that pledge.

But in her “Meet the Press” interview, she blasted the RNC, saying, “The RNC is not the same RNC” and that “now it’s Trump’s” RNC.

“I mean, at the time of the debate, we had to take it to where, ‘Would you support the nominee,’ and in order to get on that debate stage, you said, ‘Yes,’” Haley said.

The RNC is still chaired by Ronna McDaniel, who was chair at the time of the debates, but Trump has endorsed Michael Whatley, the North Carolina GOP chair, and Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law, to take over as chair and co-chair of the group.

Haley has sharpened her rhetoric toward Trump in recent weeks, attacking him as “unhinged” and “more diminished than he was.”

A potential endorsement of Trump is not the only issue Haley has offered seemingly conflicting viewpoints on. In the same interview with “Meet the Press,” Haley at first wouldn’t commit to endorsing federal protections for fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization.

“What I support is that we make sure that every parent has the right to have those fertility processes. I had my two children through fertility. I want every parent who wants that blessing to be able to have that. And government shouldn’t do anything to stop it,” Haley said.

She added, “I think the conversation of what happens with those embryos has to be between the parents and the physicians, period. We don’t need to go and create a bunch of laws for something when we don’t have a problem.”

Minutes later, pressed again about whether there should be federal protections for IVF, Haley said there should be.

“Yes, to make sure that IVF is there to make sure that parents have it, all of that,” she said.

Asked why abortion shouldn’t be a decision made by people and their doctors, Haley argued that the issue should be decided at the state level.

“What I’ve said is this should be in the hands of the people for the people to decide. They should decide whether their states are going to be pro-life or pro-choice. They should decide whether their states are going to be IVF or not IVF,” she said. “I personally think we want as many fertility options for people as they can. That’s my opinion.”

“But other states may decide something different. Alabama was going in one direction,” she said, alluding to the recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that embryos are people. “I don’t think that’s the direction you want to go, the same way I don’t think that the conversations that people have been having on abortion are good conversations.”

Her remarks come after the Alabama Supreme Court last month decided that embryos are people, making access to IVF uncertain in that state. Just days later, Alabama’s House and Senate passed Republican-proposed bills intended to protect IVF.

Last week, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., blocked legislation that would have created federal protections for IVF nationwide, calling the measure “vast overreach.”