EXCLUSIVE – Nikki Haley is pounding the pavement on the campaign trail as she crisscrosses the country to help fellow Republicans running in elections this year and in 2022.

“Our thought is we’ve got races that are around the country that matter in all the states and we’re going to hit as many of them and do as much good as we can,” the former South Carolina governor who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration said in an interview with Fox News on the eve of her Thursday trip to Iowa.

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Haley’s three day swing through the state that leads off the presidential nominating calendar is naturally sparking more speculation about her possible national ambitions in 2024, but Haley says her focus is squarely on the 2022 midterms, when the GOP will try to win back majorities in the House and Senate and increase their margins in governorships and state legislatures.

“We have to stop the bleeding of Biden and Kamala and make sure we win the House and Senate in ’22,” Haley emphasized as she pointed to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and their Democratic administration.

Haley appears to be implementing a three-pronged approach, and one of those legs is pushing policy. She noted that her political action committee – Stand For America – doesn’t just “throw out checks.”

“We started with a policy organization because we think that Republicans shouldn’t just be about soundbites, we should be the party of solutions. It’s why through Stand for America we focus a lot on different issues but we’re continuing to focus on how we can work more on health care reform, K-12 high ed, legislation on the environment,” Haley highlighted. “We continue to host congressional members to keep them strong on policy, keep them strong on constituent services, so that they can best elected officials they can be.”

Haley’s travels are also very much about helping Republicans win – from recruitment to fundraising. Besides next year’s midterms, she pointed to this year’s elections, saying “I’ll be involved in Virginia and New Jersey’s governors races.”

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The third mission for the daughter of immigrants from India who grew up to become South Carolina’s first female governor is “to continue to expand the tent. We’re focused on expanding Republicans’ base with Hispanics, with the Jewish community, with the Asian community, with African Americans, with women in the suburbs.”

“We’re doing a lot of different things but it’s covering everything. We have to work a little bit harder but it’s so worth it to do that in the end,” Haley emphasized. “When you combine the policy with the political, that’s really what makes magic happen and we’re doing that all over the country.”

Haley’s itinerary for her three-day swing through Iowa is jam-packed.

She’s keynoting the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Day dinner and fundraiser in Des Moines on Thursday night. But she’s also holding an event for female elected officials with Iowa GOP co-chair Linda Upmeyer, headlining events for the Story County Republicans and the Young Republicans of Iowa, for state House Speaker Pat Grassley and the State House Caucus, fundraisers for Gov. Kim Reynolds, Rep. Randy Feenstra, and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, as well as a possible event for Rep. Ashley Hinson, who is out of the state during Haley’s trip.

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“If you’re going to do it right, you don’t do the easy races, you do the tougher races too, the ones that need some more attention, the ones that some more visibility. And we go out there and we help them,” Haley noted. “And I think that’s also the reason why we were one of the top fundraisers in the last election cycle, is we have a lot of these House and Senate members who want us to do emails for them and want us to go to their districts and want us to go and help gin up support and we’re happy to do it. That’s what it takes to move the country forward.”

While her swing through Iowa will grab national attention and spark further 2024 speculation, Haley said, “I know that people like to talk about Iowa and they like to talk about New Hampshire, but I think that they forget that we’ve recently been to Illinois, Georgia, Texas, California, and Florida and the press isn’t writing about that.”

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joins Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at a political event in Boone, Iowa in June of 2019.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joins Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at a political event in Boone, Iowa in June of 2019.

Asked by Fox News about her timetable deciding on a potential White House run, Haley said, “I don’t think I have to make a decision until the first part of ’23.”

She reiterated her efforts to help the GOP win back congressional majorities in the 2022 midterms, saying, “I think that’s really important before we even think about what happens next.”

But Haley is winning the praise of some top Iowa Republicans. State GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann, who invited Haley to the Hawkeye state to keynote the state party’s dinner, noted that “during her tenure, Ambassador Haley was a fierce defender of American First values. Time and time again, Ambassador Haley stood up to our adversaries and showed that America was the best country in the world.”

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And veteran Iowa-based Republican strategist Gentry Collins, pointing to Haley’s efforts on behalf of Miller-Meeks last autumn during a campaign trip to the state, noted “there was more excitement for a new surrogate than I had seen in a long time.”

Collins, who has served as Republican National Committee political director and Iowa GOP executive director, said: “I don’t know what here future plans are but I think she’ll find a very warm reception here in Iowa.” 

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nikki-haley-2022-midterm-campaign

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