Haley will vote for Trump, triggers V-P slot talk

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Washington, May 23 (IANS) After running a spirited primary challenge to former US President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, the former Ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday that she will vote for him.

"I will be voting for Trump," the Indian-descent politician said in a speech at Hudson Institute, a think-tank where she will hold a chair.

"She went on to explain her reasons. As a voter, I put my priorities on a President who's going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account. Who would secure the border, no more excuses. A President who would support capitalism and freedom. A President who understands we need less debt, not more debt."

"Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I have made that clear many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe."

Haley's endorsement triggered talk of joining the Trump ticket as running mate.

Trump, who has stoked speculation about his running mate naming those in consideration, has ruled out Haley.

But if Haley can change her mind about Trump, so and Trump about her.

Running against him for the party's nomination to run for the White House, she had called him "unhinged" and chaos followed him wherever he went.

She had even suggested a mental acuity test for candidates running for President citing some of his many fumbles, which included mistaking Haley for Nancy Pelosi, a former Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives.

A key reason Trump could change his mind on Haley is her supporters in the Republican Party, who remain so deeply hostile to him that they have continued to vote for her in the ongoing primaries even though she is no longer in the race. And these are not a handful of voters.

She won 21 per cent of the votes in the Indiana primary earlier this month even though she has been out of the contest for weeks now.

Haley reminded Trump about her supporters.

"Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they're just going to be with him. And I genuinely hope he does."

Even President Joe Biden's campaign has been eyeing Haley's supporters and has been wooing them as a sizable voting block.

Trump has a tight grip on the core of the Republican Party, which ensured his victory in the primaries and grants him an extortionist's hold on the lawmakers of his party who fear the support of his base if they upset him. But Trump will need to carry his party to come within striking range of the White House and he needs Haley's supporters.

None of the other Vice-President aspirants who Trump paraded at a recent fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort, have anything similar to offer to the former President. She has secured 14 per cent in the Republican primaries even after exiting the race.