Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was heckled by former President Donald Trump’s supporters after she finished delivering a speech Friday at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
Video footage shows her speaking to a group of folks inside the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center’s lobby following her speech, when suddenly a bunch of people started chanting “We love Trump!” and “Trump!”
Nikki Haley is getting a very warm welcome from CPAC.
Oh wait… they’re yelling Trump at her pic.twitter.com/6PuJ6606Ph
— Ada Lluch (@ada_lluch) March 3, 2023
CPAC attendees keep starting chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as Nikki Haley takes photos after her speech. pic.twitter.com/dxqm0mC2ss
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) March 3, 2023
The chants were presumably a diss. Former President Donald Trump is also running for president, and it seems the crowd clearly preferred him.
But they may have also chanted at her because she’d taken a few subtle shots at their hero president during her CPAC speech.
“We’ve lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. Our cause is right. But we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. That ends now,” she said at one point, acknowledging Trump’s 2020 election loss.
“If you’re tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation. And if you want to win — not just as a party, but as a country — then stand with me,” she added.
Haley is 51, whereas Trump is 76.
Of course, not that many people listened to her speech in the first place:
Very empty room for Nikki Haley’s speech at CPAC. pic.twitter.com/ASvznNseJ7
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) March 3, 2023
The bad news for her is that even fewer people seem interested in seeing her become president.
In the top battleground state of New Hampshire, the aspiring presidential candidate carries the support of 8 percent of the GOP base, according to a University of New Hampshire poll released last month.
That’s short of the 30 percent carried by Trump and the whopping 42 percent carried by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t even declared his candidacy yet.
Another poll, this one conducted by Rasmussen Reports, found her polling at an improved 15 percent. However, that was still far short of the 52 percent scooped up by Trump.
After announcing her 2024 presidential campaign, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley leads President Joe Biden in a hypothetical matchup, but badly trails former President Donald Trump among GOP votershttps://t.co/OVS8S9KHSm pic.twitter.com/b4snzCQ7Yc
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) February 25, 2023
Interestingly, Trump hasn’t really complained about her running for office.
“Even though Nikki Haley said, ‘I would never run against my President, he was a great President, the best President in my lifetime,’ I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants to do. I wish her luck!” his campaign said in a statement following her presidential announcement last month.
The warm feelings may have stemmed from the positive comments she’d made about him to The Wall Street Journal back in the fall of 2021.
“He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump,” she said.
It’s unclear how Trump will react once he hears her CPAC remarks about the need for a “new generation.”
He may not even react at all, as he’s been aiming all his fire at DeSantis, who, according to all the polls, poses the biggest threat to him.
One recent Marquette University poll found that 64 percent of Republicans across the states would choose DeSantis over Trump as the 2024 GOP nominee.
The same poll reportedly found that registered voters writ large likewise preferred DeSantis to Biden, 45 percent to 38 percent.
Conversely, Trump and Biden were tied at 40 percent.
2024 Presidential Election Poll
(R) Ron DeSantis: 45% (+7)
(D) Joe Biden: 38%
(R) Donald Trump: 40% (=)
(D) Joe Biden: 40%
7 point swing towards DeSantis from Nov. poll by the same pollster (was 42/42)@MULawPoll | 876 RV | Jan 9-20 | +/- 4%https://t.co/CzXwuZ6Mua pic.twitter.com/uUTRYMNKKM
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) January 26, 2023
Another poll — this one conducted by USA Today — also found GOP voters preferring DeSantis to Trump.
“By 2-1, GOP and GOP-leaning voters now say they want Trump’s policies but a different standard-bearer to carry them. While 31% want the former president to run, 61% prefer some other Republican nominee who would continue the policies Trump has pursued,” the paper reported in December.
“They have a name in mind: Two-thirds of Republicans and those inclined to vote Republican want Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president. By double digits, 56% to 33%, they prefer DeSantis over Trump,” the paper added.
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