Nikki Haley Praises 'Strong' Donald Trump CPAC Speech After Doubting Role in Future of GOP

Former United Nations ambassador and possible 2024 GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley has praised former President Donald Trump's weekend speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, dismissing talk of a civil war within the party as a creation of the "liberal" media.

Haley said the GOP should unite behind Trump's "strong" speech, despite comments made less than a month ago in which she criticized his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol and suggested the former president would not be able to successfully run for office again.

"Strong speech by President Trump about the winning policies of his administration and what the party needs to unite behind moving forward," Haley wrote on Twitter shortly after Trump's address. "The liberal media wants a GOP civil war. Not gonna happen."

The former president ruled out launching his own third party during the speech, and appealed to supporters for more donations to help him overturn the "rigged" November election and beat the Democrats "for a third time" in 2024. There remains no evidence that last year's election was fraudulently won by President Joe Biden.

Speculation has been swirling around Trump's next move since he left office in disgrace, having spent months disputing the results of the presidential election and having encouraged a far-right mob to surround and storm the Capitol in January.

Meanwhile, the GOP has been gripped by infighting over its future. Some prominent members want to double down on Trump's divisive populist nationalist rhetoric, others wish to move back to a more moderate center ground, while others still have fully embraced fringe far-right conspiracy theories and extremist ideologies that flourished under Trump.

Haley, long a close Trump ally, is among those tipped to run for the 2024 presidential nomination. Last month, Haley spoke with Politico and distanced herself from Trump's "America First" platform.

"We need to acknowledge he let us down," she told Politico regarding Trump's post-election conduct. "He went down a path he shouldn't have, and we shouldn't have followed him, and we shouldn't have listened to him. And we can't let that ever happen again."

"I think he's going to find himself further and further isolated," she said of the former president. "I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he's lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he's lost his social media, which meant the world to him."

Though Haley said the second impeachment of the former president was a "waste of time," she suggested that Trump's short political career was over. "I don't think he's going to be in the picture," she said of a possible 2024 run. "I don't think he can. He's fallen so far."

Still, Haley acknowledged the strength of pro-Trump sentiment within the GOP even after his defeat and ignominious departure. The "love" for the former president is "still very strong" and won't "fall to the wayside," she told Politico.

"Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don't think it should," Haley added. "I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party."

Donald Trump speaks at CPAC in Orlando
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Getty