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Nikki Haley makes campaign stop in Colorado ahead of Republican primary

"We don't anoint kings in America, we have elections. We give people choices," Haley told the audience.
Posted at 9:03 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 23:03:42-05

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley made a campaign stop in Centennial Tuesday ahead of next week’s Colorado Republican primary.

Haley remains far behind former President Donald Trump in delegates and polling, and there are growing calls for her to drop out of the race. But during her rally at Wings Over the Rockies, she told Colorado voters they still have a choice.

“We don't anoint kings in America, we have elections. We give people choices,” Haley said.

The former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor zeroed in on an issue that has dominated headlines in Colorado — the migrant crisis.

“Denver has had more illegal immigrants come here than any city in America per capita. It is unbelievable what is happening. I can't believe this is the United States of America,” Haley said to the crowd, which included many undecided voters.

For Courtney Douty of Colorado Springs, Haley’s campaign represents a historic moment.

“It's been over 100 years since women got the right to vote,” Douty said. “And it is about time that we at least gave her a fair chance to fight for our country in a way that needs to be done.”

Douty rejected calls for Haley to drop out.

"Absolutely not. She should stay in the race," Douty said.

Trump has a firm hold on Republicans across the country. He has cruised to easy victories in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Haley's home state of South Carolina. The Colorado Republican Party even took the unprecedented step of endorsing him.

Haley criticized Trump's decision to endorse his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who is running to become co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

"We're seeing him take over the Republican National Committee," Haley said. "But more than that, the RNC was always about winning races up and down the ticket. They've made it very clear that now the RNC is only about Donald Trump."

Haley has tried to make the case that she would do better in a head-to-head match-up with President Joe Biden in the general election, but that argument has not persuaded Republican voters.

One reason Colorado may be attractive to Haley is because voters can choose to vote in either party’s primary. She could potentially benefit from independents and Democrats who decide to vote in the Republican primary.

“This is not personal for me with Donald Trump. I voted for Donald Trump twice. I was proud to serve America in his administration. But the truth of the matter is chaos follows him everywhere he goes,” Haley said. “And we can't be a country in disarray and a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We wouldn't survive it.”

As of Tuesday, more than 648,000 ballots have been returned in Colorado, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. About half of those are Republican ballots.