Following Fox News’ projection that former President Trump would win the New Hampshire Republican primary, former candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said the right move for runner-up Nikki Haley is to drop out and unite the party.
Ramaswamy called Tuesday’s results a decisive Trump victory and added that a large number of independents voted in the Republican primary due to the Granite State’s open-primary system.
He also called New Hampshire a microcosm of the national electorate:
“It’s like a terrain for the general election,” he said, adding that some of Haley’s large donors like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman are anti-Trump figures or typically Democratic donors.
TIM SCOTT’S ENDORSEMENT ROILS NH AS SUNUNU CLAIMS HE WOULDN’T HAVE A JOB WITHOUT HALEY
“So I think this is a prediction of what you’re going to see in the general election. And the decisive margin we see tonight is, in some ways, I think, something that bodes well for Trump heading into the general election in November to reunite this country,” he said.
“And so, in my view, the general election really begins tonight. I think the Republican primary, for all intents and purposes, is over tonight. And I think the party and the country are better off if we see that for what it is.”
Ramaswamy, who famously held up a notepad reading “Nikki = Corrupt” during a primary debate, remarked how he has never been afraid to criticize the former South Carolina governor – and stated his belief that the only reason Haley signaled she will remain in the race for the long haul is in hopes that Trump’s candidacy is neutered by outside forces like lawsuits.
“If Nikki Haley does stay in, it will send the signal that her only path and what she’s playing for is for Donald Trump being eliminated by forces outside of this process, by the judicial system, by secretaries of state in places like Maine or elsewhere. And I think that’s downright wrong,” he said.
He said Hoffman has helped fund advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump, and that his connection to Haley shows why continuing the two-way primary is bad for the party and country in the long term.
TRUMP OFFERS BIPARTISAN DEFENSE OF PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY, CITES OBAMA CIVILIAN DRONE DEATHS
Pivoting to Trump’s candidacy itself, Ramaswamy said recent comments by high-profile Democrats that appeared counter to the Biden administration’s platform on issues like the open border also show that there is an appetite for a second Trump term.
He pointed to Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who was once a supporter of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., presidential bid, appearing to call out the left’s immigration policy in telling CNN the American Dream is being threatened by hundreds of thousands of migrants swarming the border.
“That says that many Democrats and independents and libertarians agree with the views of this America First movement. That’s why I took myself out of the race to endorse Donald Trump. I think the other Republicans have done the right thing. It’s time for Nikki Haley to do the right thing as well and focus on a landslide this November,” he said.
In her post-primary speech, Haley countered that the worst-kept secret in politics is that Democrats want to run against Trump in November, calling a Trump nomination precipitous of a “Biden win and Kamala Harris presidency.”
However, Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany added on “Jesse Watters Primetime” that Haley’s plan to remain in the race through South Carolina and beyond is an obvious “play” for the vice presidency in a Trump administration.
CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In the same vein, former Bush White House aide Karl Rove said Haley remaining the race may in one way benefit Trump, because battling the former governor allows him to “articulate a vision for the general election… if he takes on the task of describing a general election message, and positioning himself to beat Biden… then he’s going to be better off.”
“Whoever is the Republican nominee is going to have a lot to do in unifying the party and lowering the temperature and the principal responsibility is the front-runner,” Rove said.
As Trump prepared to take the stage for a victory speech late Tuesday, Fox News political analyst Brit Hume quipped the former president was hoping for a resounding victory that would drive Haley from the race.
As results trickled in showing about a 10-point spread at press time, Hume considered that the race was instead a “run for [Trump’s] money that he didn’t want.”
“He wanted what happened tonight to be a blowout win for him that would blow her out of the race,” he said. “I don’t think that’s happened, so I don’t know how gracious he’s willing to be.”
Hume said Haley’s candidacy appears to still be “alive and kicking” as South Carolina approaches next on the docket in late February.
Read the full article here