Nikki Haley officially launches 2024 presidential run

Republican says she wants to see a 'strong and proud, not weak and woke' America

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Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who worked for Donald Trump as UN ambassador, formally launched her presidential bid on Wednesday, joining a growing Republican campaign field.

“I'm a grateful American citizen who knows our best days are yet to come if we unite and fight to save our country,” she said to a crowd of supporters in Charleston, South Carolina.

“I have devoted my life to this fight. And I'm just getting started. For a strong America, for a proud America, I am running for president of the United States.”

Ms Haley spoke on how she sees a “strong and proud, not weak and woke” America.

She said she wanted to introduce national voter ID policies, term limits in Congress and school choice.

On foreign policy, Ms Haley declared support for Israel and Ukraine, while committing to challenging Iran and Russia.

“In the America I see, communist China won’t just lose. Like the Soviet Union before, communist China will end up on the ash heap of history,” she added.

Ms Haley, 51, joins a Republican field of contenders fighting for the party's nomination in the 2024 presidential election.

Mr Trump, her former boss, announced his third White House bid in November.

“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,” Mr Trump told The Associated Press.

But he added: “I wish her luck!”

In an apparent swipe at the advanced age of Mr Trump, 76, and Mr Biden, 80, Ms Haley said it was time for a new generation of leaders in Washington.

“We won't win the fight for the 21st century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th century,” she said.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, first appointed to his position by Ms Haley when she was governor, is also considering a run. Former vice president Mike Pence is expected to announce his bid as well.

In her speech to supporters, Ms Haley criticised the Republican Party, referencing a string of electoral losses in saying: “If you’re tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation.”

If elected, she would become the first female president in the US, as well as the first of Indian descent.

Updated: February 16, 2023, 7:15 AM