Nikki Haley’s campaign on Monday called the Republican presidential nomination process in Nevada, where a dueling primary and caucuses will be held this week, “rigged” for former President Trump.
“In terms of Nevada, we have not spent a dime nor an ounce of energy on Nevada. We made the decision early on that we were not going to pay $55,000 to a Trump entity … to participate in a process that was rigged for Trump,” Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney said in a call with reporters.
“So Nevada is not and has never been our focus. Truly not sure what the Trump team is out to there, but they seem pretty spun up about it. But we are focused on South Carolina,” Ankney added.
The Silver State is stoking confusion for Republican voters after the Nevada GOP bucked a plan under state law to hold a primary on Feb. 6. The state party is charging ahead with its longstanding caucuses, now set for Feb. 8, though both contests will go on.
And while Haley will appear on the state-run primary ballot on Tuesday, Trump is taking part in the party-run caucuses on Thursday, meaning the two remaining serious GOP presidential contenders won’t directly hit each other in the state.
The Nevada GOP has barred primary candidates from participating in the caucuses and plans to essentially ignore the state-run primary results — only allocating delegates to the national convention later this year based on the party-run caucuses.
That means Trump has likely all but clinched the win in the state caucuses, and Haley’s campaign has been predominantly focused on South Carolina, which hosts its GOP primary on Feb. 24.
The Palmetto State is also Haley’s home turf, where she previously served as governor. She’s looking to close the gap of Trump’s significant lead in the state, and her campaign is pointing to Super Tuesday contests down the line even amid calls for her to get out of the race.
“We are 20 days out from South Carolina. We’re a month out from Super Tuesday. Nikki is the last one standing between the American people and the rematch that no one wants in Trump versus Biden,” Ankney said on Monday.
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