Biden campaign claims Trump is snubbing Haley supporters

President Joe Biden‘s campaign has gone on the offensive against former President Donald Trump over his “nonexistent” efforts in the battle to win over supporters of former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

Haley was the last major primary foe Trump defeated before becoming the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party. But her exit hasn’t led to a unified GOP.

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Trump and his onetime ambassador to the United Nations have reportedly not spoken since she dropped out of the race. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon had choice words for Haley’s non-endorsement of Trump when she dropped out.

“Screw Nikki Haley — we don’t need her endorsement,” he said on his “War Room” podcast earlier this month. “‘Oh, we got to get the Nikki Haley voters.’ They’re all Democrats. They’re all going to vote for Biden anyway.”

Adding to the tension is that Haley’s supporters have continued to vote for the former 2024 candidate, even after her campaign ended.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in Charleston, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

In battleground state Ohio, Haley garnered 14.4% while Trump won 79.2% of the vote during the March 19 primary. In Trump’s home state, Florida, Haley pulled in double-digit results, winning nearly 14% to Trump’s 81%. Haley won 17.8% of the vote in Arizona, compared to Trump’s 78.8%.

Exit polls in the Buckeye State showed nearly 90% of Haley supporters said they would be dissatisfied with Trump as the nominee, and eight in 10 said they would not vote for him in November. Almost half of Haley’s backers, 47%, preferred Biden, and 32% said they wouldn’t vote for Trump or Biden in November.

In Georgia, another crucial swing state that Trump lost in 2020, Haley received 77,899 votes, or 13.2% of the vote during the March 12 primary.

The Biden campaign has pounced on those intraparty tensions as it seeks to win over centrist Republicans, independents, and swing voters.

“Donald Trump and his campaign have made it clear: If you are not part of the MAGA disciples then you aren’t welcome in his campaign,” Biden spokesman James Singer In a statement sent out Tuesday. “For independent, moderate, and Nikki Haley voters who all care about protecting democracy and lowering costs for families, President Biden is reaching out his hand to welcome them into his coalition while Donald Trump is slamming the door in their face.”

In her speech exiting the 2024 race, Haley had warned Trump he needed to earn the votes of her supporters. It does not appear that the former president is heeding her warning, which is in stark contrast to Biden who began earnestly wooing Haley’s supporters on the day she suspended her campaign.

“Any political consultant worth their salt would say that any presidential campaign should be trying to grow their base and bring in as many Republicans as possible,” former Haley campaign spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said. “This is going to be a close race. It could be decided by 10,000 votes in Georgia or 50,000 votes in Pennsylvania. Both Trump and Biden are going to have to win over voters that aren’t coming naturally to them. And it would be insane, and professional negligence, to say no we don’t need those voters.”

Soloveichik emphasized she was speaking to the Washington Examiner in her personal capacity as a political consultant, not on behalf of Haley.

Other Republican consultants instead cast the blame on the lack of unity on Haley, not Trump.

“President Trump’s focus on securing our borders, fixing the economy, and reducing crime should be enough to unite all Republicans to fire Joe Biden,” said Aaron Evans, president of the Winning Republican Strategies, in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Nikki Haley has a real opportunity to be the unifier, but unfortunately, she has backtracked on her pledge to support the nominee and is channeling her efforts toward further dividing the Republican Party. It’s a missed opportunity for her to lead and unite the party to take back the White House in November.”

Robert Schwartz, co-founder of the super PAC Primary Pivot, has turned his attention to persuading Haley voters to back Biden in November. But he does have reservations about the Biden campaign’s efforts to target Haley supporters.

“I believe that Biden’s campaign needs to ramp up its own efforts because a lot of these voters do still have significant concerns about some of Biden’s policies,” Schwartz said, pointing to the president’s domestic policy. “So I think both sides really need to make a concerted effort to win over these voters.”

Schwartz also warned that the Biden campaign’s outreach to uncommitted voters needed to be handled in a way that didn’t dissuade Haley’s backers. “At the very minimum, I think the Biden campaign needs to make a similar level of outreach that they’re making to those uncommitted voters,” Schwartz said.

Soloveichik, the former Haley staffer, warned that the GOP has struggled with suburban and female voters in recent elections, many of whom did support Haley and will need to be wooed back.

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“There are hundreds of thousands of voters that made it clear that their first preference was to go in a different direction,” Soloveichik said. “It’s not a secret that Republicans have lost voters in the suburbs, that they have a problem with women, that they have lost college-educated voters. This is a rematch. So it’s not like we have to guess about where the struggle points are, where the pain points are, for either party. So, you know what you need to do so you should just do it.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.


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