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Nikki Haley says Biden is 'more dangerous' than Trump but neither is fit for the job

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley told NPR that President Biden presents a bigger threat to the country if reelected than his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Biden is expected to easily clinch the Democratic nomination for a second term while Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

But Haley doesn't believe either of them should have the job.

"I have a lot of concerns about Trump regaining the presidency. I have even more concerns about Joe Biden being president. I mean, you look at both of these men and all they have done is given us chaos, all they have given us is division," Haley said.

Her solution?

"We need to starting bringing normalcy back to America and that's why I think we need to have a new generational leader that focuses on the solutions of the future instead of all the issues of the past," Haley told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Wednesday during in an interview for Morning Edition.

She sees herself as that new generation of leader ready to jump into what she has called the toughest job in the world.

Still, she has yet to win a primary contest and the next one has the highest stakes yet. It's in her home state of South Carolina.

'I haven't actually sat down and thought about what comes after'

Even though she continues to trail Trump in primary polls at home, Haley said in a Tuesday campaign speech that she would continue campaigning until "the last person votes."

In an interview with NPR, she hedged a bit, pledging to stay in though at least the Super Tuesday, critical primary contests in a wide array of states on March 5.

"Right now, the furthest we've thought is we certainly are going to go past South Carolina, go into Michigan and go into Super Tuesday states," she said in a phone interview with Morning Edition while riding through rural South Carolina on her campaign bus.

"I haven't actually sat down and thought about what comes after that," Haley admitted. "But our goal was between South Carolina and Super Tuesday, another 20 states have voted, and that's more of the representation we want, let people's voices be heard."

A total of 16 states and territories hold primaries on March 5. South Carolina Republicans vote Saturday and Michigan holds its primary Feb. 27.

As the single voting day with the most delegates up for grabs, Super Tuesday could be Haley's last chance at a competitive race with Trump, who outpaces her so far in the polls.

She has continued fundraising and campaigning ahead of Saturday. Haley's campaign says she "has the resources to go the distance" and raised the most funds in a single month in January, at more than $16 million.

Even if she loses every single remaining primary contest, Haley said she hopes she will at least have given a "sense of normalcy" and a "voice" to majority opinions against Trump and Biden.

Biden and Trump 'too old' to be president

Haley has launched attacks on the pair in recent weeks.

"I think what's really important is to know that the majority of Americans dislike Donald Trump and Joe Biden," she said. "So we think that there needs to be an alternative."

While critical of both men — who she called "too old" to be president — she said "Biden is more dangerous" due to his management of immigration and the economy. Haley hinted that, if Biden and Trump were to face a rematch, she would back Trump if he wins the Republican presidential nomination.

The former South Carolina governor also spoke against what she called "hate, division and chaos" fomented by Trump. She compared the ex-president to a "bully," and stressed that he failed to obtain significant portions of the electorate in Iowa and New Hampshire.

"People don't like when he goes off the teleprompter and says crazy things like he'd rather take Putin's side over our allies," Haley said. "People don't like it when he mocks the military. People don't like it when he calls people names."

Support for Ukraine

Haley pushed back against Trump's opposition to providing funding to Ukraine as it fights Russia's invasion. She urged congressional Republicans to pass aid to the country that has been stalled in the legislative branch after a number of lawmakers yielded to the former president's pressure.

"The focus is making sure that Ukraine has the equipment and ammunition they need so that they can finish this. They have a great fighting force. We just need to give them the tools to finish this," she said.

She blamed Biden for not explaining the stakes to the American people if Russia were to defeat Ukraine. Haley emphasized that her goal is to avoid war and arming Ukraine will achieve that goal.

"I would encourage my fellow Republicans to understand that we need to prevent war. And the only way we prevent war is if Ukraine defeats Russia in this instance, because otherwise that puts us all at war."

The broadcast version of this story was edited by Lisa Thomson and produced by Adam Bearne. The digital version was edited by Megan Pratz.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Olivia Hampton
[Copyright 2024 NPR]