Momentum: Haley Releases Her 97 Delegates, Urges Them to Vote for Trump

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

Former ambassador to the United Nations, South Carolina governor, and '24 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley says she has not been invited to the Republican convention which starts July 15, but she’s releasing her 97 delegates and urging them to vote for presumptive nominee Donald Trump anyway.

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She said we can’t afford to continue watching our country’s decline under a befuddled leader:

“The nominating convention is a time for Republican unity,” Haley will say in a statement. “JOE BIDEN is not competent to serve a second term and KAMALA HARRIS would be a disaster for America. We need a president who will hold our enemies to account, secure our border, cut our debt, and get our economy back on track. I encourage my delegates to support Donald Trump next week in Milwaukee.”

She also posted to social media Tuesday, saying, “If you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President Harris":

She’s not bitter that she hasn't been asked to attend the convention, her spokesman said, because Trump is entitled to run that event the way he sees fit:

Asked if Haley is attending the convention, Haley spox CHANEY DENTON said that Haley “was not invited, and she’s fine with that. Trump deserves the convention he wants. She’s made it clear she’s voting for him and wishes him the best.”

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Related: Nikki Haley Ends ABC's Stephanopoulos With Just 4 Words: 'Believe Me Now, George?'

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Although this is sure to be welcome news to the former president, the delegates are not bound to vote for him:

While Haley is "releasing" the delegates, they may not be required to vote for Trump and may still choose to vote for Haley or back another Republican. In some cases delegates are bound to a candidate until the convention, based on state party rules.

The relationship between Trump and Haley grew contentious during her presidential campaign, and she was the last Trump challenger to drop out of the race. She did not immediately indicate at the time that she would vote for the former president—but now says his victory is a necessity:

Ms. Haley, who served as United Nations ambassador under Mr. Trump, has said that she plans to vote for Mr. Trump in November, though their relationship soured toward the end of her campaign.

She drew notable percentages of independents, Republicans and moderate Democrats in primary contests even after she had rescinded her bid. Her convention delegates include 19 people from Washington, D.C., and nine from Vermont, the two places where she won primaries.

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Trump’s chances at once again occupying the Oval Office have dramatically improved in recent weeks, as President Biden’s horrendous debate performance proved that he is not capable of the job of commander-in-chief. The cries for him to walk away from his campaign efforts have come from across the spectrum, from liberal media outlets to top-ranking Democrat lawmakers. Haley’s move only adds to his momentum.

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