Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Nikki Haley seeks to dial back expectations heading into Super Tuesday: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Mar2,2024



Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

On today’s episode, “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker interviews Nikki Haley ahead of a critical round of GOP races on Super Tuesday. Plus, senior national politics reporters Jonathan Allen and Matt Dixon profile Susie Wiles, Donald Trump’s de facto campaign manager.


Is Super Tuesday Nikki Haley’s last stand?

By Kristen Welker

Nikki Haley, who has yet to win the Republican nomination this year, is not predicting a victory on Super Tuesday. Instead, he’s trying to dial back expectations, telling me that March 5 — the biggest primary day on the 2024 calendar — is a “competitive showdown” against front-runner Donald Trump.

“We’re looking at it because we’re hoping for a good, competitive show,” Haley said Thursday in the first of a two-part interview with the former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor.


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It’s a change in expectation that Haley tried to set after his double-digit loss in New Hampshire. need to do better In South Carolina, more than 43% of it is shown in the Granite State. He didn’t get it done last Saturday at home or last Tuesday at Michigan.

And that’s a far cry from saying he’ll be the Republican presidential nominee.

But Haley’s new goal begs the question: What if she can’t compete with Trump in the 15 GOP primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday and falls further behind in the delegate count?

Is this the end of his campaign?

For Haley’s answer to that question and more, visit “Meet the Press” and NBCNews.com this Sunday.

Here are some other highlights from my interview with Haley:

  • He said that Trump has all his legal problems It is necessary to “do business” before November: “We need to know what’s going to happen before that – before the presidency happens. Because after that, if he becomes the president, I don’t think any of them will be heard.”
  • He said Trump should not be able to claim presidential immunity: “I don’t think the president should be immune from anything. I think that the president should also live under the law. He is asking for things that no president has ever asked for. Therefore, I hope that the Supreme Court will make a decision soon.”
  • He said that he does not know If Trump is re-elected president, will he follow the Constitution: “I don’t know. I mean, you always want to think there’s going to be someone, but I don’t know.”
  • He said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should be praised resigns from the leadership position at the end of the year: “I wish our presidential candidates would do the same. … It confuses me that we have two candidates in their 80s.”

Meet the operative trying to bring a low-drama approach to the Trump campaign

By Jonathan Allen and Matt Dixon

Susie Wiles tries to succeed where so many before her have failed.

Various Republican operatives have entered Trump’s orbit over the years with the goal of instilling order and discipline. The former president fired at least 10 campaign managers and chiefs of staff.

Now, Wiles is trying to take a less dramatic approach as Trump’s de facto campaign manager, serving Republicans at every level from mayor to president for more than 40 years. According to GOP sources inside and outside Trump’s camp, he serves as an important balance against an unstable candidate trying to win the White House while fighting four felony charges.

If there’s one personality trait that connects Trump to the soft-spoken, media-shy Wiles, it’s a desire to survive and thrive: Trump feeds it by disrupting order; Wiles feeds him by maintaining discipline. Many Republicans attribute Trump’s political comeback, at least in part, to his bringing a new sense of discipline and direction to his campaign.

It’s a partnership that has worked so far as Trump seeks the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. But it’s an open question whether Wiles, or anyone else, can keep the Trump train moving through the November election.

His past campaigns and White House teams have been studies of power struggles and personality clashes, both in terms of internal warfare and outsiders battling insiders for Trump’s ear. A diverse range of interests will attract more and more of his attention and favor, creating complications for his chief assistant.

“He’s sitting on a hard chair,” said Bill Stepien, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, sympathetically.

In a rare taped interview, Wiles said that Trump’s success so far is down to just one person: “President Trump.”

“Now he knows better what it takes to be president after his first term. He knows better how to interact with the media. “His personnel instincts, I think, are better,” Wills said. “The new skills are in the same Donald Trump package, and I think that’s what makes the difference this time.”

Read the full story here →



🗞️ The best stories of the day

  • ⚖️ Trump test schedule: Attorneys for the former president and the Justice Department sparred in court Friday over when to hold a trial in the classified documents case. Prosecutors said the DOJ’s policy against taking steps close to the election does not apply to federal charges against Trump. More →
  • 🏁 Winning streak: Trump is aiming to maintain his undefeated GOP primary record in 2024 in the weekend races. When was the last time a current presidential candidate went undefeated? Al Gore in the 2000 Democratic primary. More →
  • 🛡️Out of sight: President Joe Biden’s team is taking greater steps to guard against pro-Palestinian protests at events, keeping them small, hiding their exact locations from the media and public until it arrives, and avoiding college campuses. More →
  • 👋 Friends, here’s the thing: The Washington Post examines how spontaneous, informal conversations with his grandchildren, churchmates and former colleagues went a long way in shaping Biden’s views. More →
  • 🚫 Dos and Don’ts to Labels: Haley has quashed speculation about a third-party bid with No Labels, saying she doesn’t want a Democratic candidate. More →

For now, that’s it from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – send us an email politicsnewsletter@nbcuni.com

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