Trump, Biden Shift to General Election Rematch as Haley Fights On

Donald Trump and Joe Biden attacked each other on Wednesday as they prepared for a likely general election rematch in November after Trump’s win in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary made his White House nomination increasingly likely, although his last remaining rival Nikki Haley vowed to stay in the race.

Former Republican President Trump’s back-to-back wins in nominating contests put him on an almost certain path toward a general election contest with Democratic President Biden. Both turned their fire on each other after Trump’s New Hampshire victory over Haley on Tuesday night.

Biden’s reelection campaign issued a statement saying it is “now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee,” and repeated warnings that the former president is a threat to democracy.

Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social to repeat allegations that Biden and his Justice Department were engaged in political persecution, following the multiple criminal indictments of Trump last year.

But Haley, who served as Trump’s U.N. ambassador and is now his sole opponent for the Republican nomination, pledged to take that race to South Carolina, which votes on Feb. 24, and beyond.

In a speech to supporters in South Carolina on Wednesday night, Haley said U.S. voters deserved a better option than a Biden-Trump rematch, “and we’re going to give it to them.”

She also repeated her challenge to Trump to debate her. “Bring it Donald, show me what you got!” she declared to cheers.

The Republican nominating race has months to go, but Trump is seeking to knock Haley out and become the presumptive nominee quickly.

In South Carolina, Trump, 77, will be looking to embarrass Haley, 52, by defeating her in her home state. Haley is aiming for an upset delivered by voters who twice elected her as governor.

Haley has three rallies scheduled in South Carolina in the coming days, and her campaign released two new ads as part of a $4 million ad buy in the state.

One attacks Biden, 81, as “too old” and Trump as “too much chaos,” and calls a reprisal of the 2020 election a “rematch no one wants.” The other says she delivered “thousands of jobs, lower taxes, tough immigration laws” as governor from 2011 to 2017.

Republicans have largely coalesced around Trump, however, putting pressure on Haley to drop out. Trump has racked up endorsements from most of South Carolina’s leading Republican figures. Opinion polls show him with a wide lead there.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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