Nikki Haley Barnstorming Iowa to Support GOP Candidates

Nikki Haley Barnstorming Iowa to Support GOP Candidates nikki haley sits on tv set (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 24 June 2021 09:54 AM

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley refuses to let a fractured relationship with former President Donald Trump prevent her from preparing for a potential 2024 presidential campaign, the Washington Examiner reported.

Haley planned to barnstorm Iowa this week to raise money for Republican candidates and the state GOP, the Examiner said.

Haley, 49, is not the only potential contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to visit Iowa or plan to do so. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., next week will be the special guest at a reception organized by the Iowa GOP, and Rep. Randy Feenstra will host former Vice President Mike Pence at an annual "family picnic," the Examiner said.

In February, Haley slammed Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Two months later, Haley said she would only consider a run for president if Trump declines to, and added she would support the former president if he did run.

"It shows how nimble a politician she is. And she’s smart," GOP strategist Jim Dornan told the Examiner. "She may have initially misread Trump’s influence, and she adjusted. That might have derailed a lesser candidate, but she took it in stride and moved on. That will impress a lot of voters."

Haley certainly appears to be a welcomed guest among the Iowa GOP.

The former South Carolina governor was scheduled to headline an Iowa Republican Party Lincoln Dinner on Thursday evening, and then keynote a Friday fundraiser for Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, according to the Examiner.

The Examiner said Haley's Iowa itinerary also will include:

  • Event with elected women Republicans and State Rep. Linda Upmeyer, R, the first-ever female speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.
  • Roundtable discussion with former U.S. ambassador to China under Trump and former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, R.
  • Combined event for the Story County GOP and Young Republicans of Iowa.
  • Fundraiser for Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R, and the state House GOP caucus.
  • Fundraisers for Feenstra and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R.

The Examiner said Haley also will join Feenstra to tour small businesses in the rural district he represents.

"He’s thrilled to have Ambassador Haley’s help," a source close to the Feenstra campaign told the Examiner. "She’s also done a couple of [fundraising] emails for the congressman that were helpful."

The fact Haley has received invitations from the state party and elected Republicans to help in Iowa before the 2022 midterms is significant. Trump won the perennial swing state twice by wide margins, and it’s logical to believe the former ambassador would have been ignored if she could not be effective raising money and support.

"The reception has been really good," Iowa GOP spokesman Kollin Crompton told the Examiner about the response to Haley as the choice to headline this year’s Lincoln Dinner.

Some Trump supporters, though, remain suspicious of Haley, who’ll be speaking to a room filled with activists and primary voters at Thursday’s dinner.

"The Haley fundraiser is going to be huge,” a Republican operative in Iowa told the Examiner. "The question is the dinner. Everybody in that room is a died-in-the-wool caucus goer."

The Examiner said the Iowa caucus is expected to reprise its traditional role as the first contest on the presidential nominating calendar.

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