Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley blasted the Republican National Committee on Sunday, saying it was not an honest broker in the party’s 2024 primary race.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Haley, the last remaining major GOP opponent to former President Donald Trump, said the RNC was “clearly not” playing fairly.
“Do you think the RNC has been an honest broker in this case?” moderator Kristen Welker asked.
Haley replied, “I mean, clearly not.”
“If you’re gonna go in and basically tell the American people that you’re gonna go and decide who the nominee is after only two states have voted? I mean, 48 states out there?” she said. “This is a democracy. The American people want to have their say in who is going to be their nominee. We need to give them that.”
Haley noted that it takes 1,215 delegates to reach the nomination, the majority of which have yet to be allocated.
“I think that Americans want to be able to make this decision themselves,” she said. “I don’t think this is the place of the RNC to do it. I think that Trump overstepped when he pushed them to do it, and I think that’s why he’s had to back down, and that was the right thing to do was to back down.”
The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Haley’s remarks.
Haley also did not say that she does not need to win her home state of South Carolina on Feb. 24 to stay in the presidential race, but she contended that she must perform better than she did in the New Hampshire primary.
“Don’t you need to win your home state to show that you can win a state and really put some delegates on the map for yourself?” Welker asked.
“Well, we’ve got 17 delegates. He’s got 32. I’d say that’s pretty good to start,” she said. “What I do think I need to do is I need to show that I’m building momentum. I need to show that I’m stronger in South Carolina than New Hampshire.”
“Does that have to be a win? I don’t think that necessarily has to be a win,” she added. “But it certainly has to be better than what I did in New Hampshire and it certainly has to be close.”
Haley also said she has “every intention” of staying in the race through Super Tuesday, but declined to commit to staying through the Republican National Convention in July.
“I have every intention of going to Super Tuesday — through Super Tuesday,” she said. “We’re going to keep on going and see where this gets us. That’s what we know we’re going to do right now. I take it one state at a time. I don’t think too far ahead, but I’m not going anywhere.”
Before Trump’s decisive win in the New Hampshire primary last week, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel signaled that the party will rally behind Trump if he continues to build on his strong performance in the early caucuses and primaries.
“If President Trump comes out strong tonight, that’s a clear message being sent by our primary voters,” McDaniel said in a statement to NBC News before the New Hampshire results came last week. “Republicans know that if we’re not united as a party behind our nominee, we won’t be able to beat Biden.”
An RNC member recently floated and then dropped plans to name Trump the “presumptive nominee.” A Haley spokesperson brushed off the proposed resolution before it was dropped, saying, “Who cares what the RNC says?”