Like the vast majority of those in the Republican party, Nikki Haley did not have many kind things to say about Donald Trump during the primary season. The popular South Carolina governor has gone on record that she thinks Trump is dangerous, but now that he is the new face of the party, is she throwing her weight behind him?
That’s a dilemma faced by many politicians at the moment, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who just recently endorsed Trump despite standing up to him in prior weeks. It seems that virtually no Republican politician is sticking by their previously-held opinion that Trump does not represent their party, with the only holdouts being those who do not currently hold elected office like Mitt Romney.
Here’s everything you need to know about the relationship between Nikki Haley and Donald Trump.
1. She Linked Trump’s Rhetoric to the Charleston Shooting
As of June, Haley has not entirely dialed back her anti-Trump remarks the way some of her peers have, even if that doesn’t mean she is voting for Hillary Clinton in November. While speaking to The Post and Courier, Haley recently criticized Trump’s hateful and violent rhetoric, linking it to last year’s Charleston shooting.
“I know what that rhetoric can do,” she said. “I saw it happen.”
In June 2015, during Haley’s service as governor, a young man killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was later indicted on 33 federal hate crime charges.
Haley has made similar comments against the Republican nominee in the past, saying back in March that Trump is promoting dangerous hate. In her State of the Union response earlier this year, Haley also clearly went after Trump while not mentioning him by name.
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices,” Haley said in her address. “We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”
2. She Doesn’t Want to be Trump’s Vice President
Despite the comments she has made against him, Haley’s name has been raised as a potential vice presidential pick. However, she herself has ruled this possibility out, saying she is not interested in the job.
“To the members of the press who are asking, while I am flattered to be mentioned and proud of what that says about the great things going on in South Carolina, my plate is full and I am not interested in serving as vice president,” she said in a statement.
Trump later said that Haley was never under consideration, although a campaign source told CNN that she was an early favorite of Trump’s.
3. Trump Said Haley is an Embarrassment
Trump has previously made negative statements about Haley, as is true of just about every single person in the Republican party. In March, Trump tweeted a 2012 video of Haley dismissing the idea of Mitt Romney’s tax returns being an issue, with Trump seemingly arguing that this contradicts the fact that she said Trump not releasing his tax returns is concerning. Trump said that Haley’s constituents are embarrassed of her, even though she is one of the most popular governors in the country with an 81% approval rating among South Carolina Republicans.
Haley was quick with a response, tweeting this back to Trump within the hour:
4. She Supported Marco Rubio in the Primaries
During the Republican primaries, Marco Rubio was Nikki Haley’s candidate of choice, and she offered her official endorsement of him ahead of the South Carolina primary.
“I wanted somebody with fight, I wanted somebody with passion, I wanted somebody who had the conviction to do the right thing, but I wanted somebody humble enough to remember he works for all the people,” Haley said.
After Rubio dropped out of the race, Haley shifted her support to Ted Cruz, although she declined to official endorse him.
“You know the only thing I can say now is my hope and my prayer is that Sen. Cruz can come through this and that he can really get to where he needs to go,” Haley said in March.
5. She Says She Will Support Trump in the General Election
Though Haley has not offered her official endorsement yet, she did say as soon as Trump became the presumptive nominee that she will support him in the general election. She did not actually offer any praise for the candidate himself, however, instead focusing on the fact that he is who the people have chosen.
“I have great respect for the will of the people, and as I have always said, I will support the Republican nominee for president,” she said.