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Rand Paul Launches an Anti-Nikki Haley Campaign – HotAir

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) sent X followers all atwitter over a post. He said he has stayed out of the Republican presidential primary so far, but he’s seen enough. He teased an announcement he would make Friday morning.

What could he be up to? That was the question on X. Would Rand Paul, a candidate himself in the 2016 GOP presidential primary cycle, make an endorsement? If so, DeSantis supporters hoped for an endorsement of DeSantis. Trump supporters said surely he would endorse Trump, as he did in 2016. Some even pondered if Rand would create a real stir and endorse an independent candidate like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. No one, however, was speculating that he would endorse Nikki Haley.

No one who follows the career of Rand Paul would ever think he is a Nikki Haley supporter. Rand Paul has been clear throughout his career that he is not a pro-military industrial complex (as he refers to it) kind of guy. He is not a war hawk. He is not an establishment Republican who believes in nation-building or supporting wars overseas that do not appear to affect the United States. Therefore, supporting Nikki Haley would not be an option for Rand Paul.

Nikki Haley is a foreign policy candidate. She is strongly pro-military and her husband is deployed overseas right now. She is not hesitant to encourage military action during conflicts with nations not friendly to the United States. She represents the view of many mainstream Republicans from days past. After recent wars, many Republicans are no longer on the same page.

When Nikki left the Trump administration she made a veiled reference to earning money once she left the public sector. No one would blame her for that. I read an article in Forbes in August that made a deep dive into her family’s financial difficulties and how she was able to create a fortune delivering speeches and sitting on corporate boards. She was a director of Boeing in 2019, then stepped down the next year, collecting over $300,000 in cash and stock. Being on the board of Boeing does not sit well with Rand Paul. He is a libertarian and often rails against endless wars. For me, Nikki isn’t my first choice but I don’t begrudge anyone for legally making money, especially to the benefit of her family.

So, instead of endorsing a Republican primary candidate, Rand Paul’s big announcement this morning is to diss Nikki Haley as a presidential candidate. He is promoting a website to support his #NeverNikki opinion. It’s HERE. There is a disclosure at the bottom of the front page that it is paid for by Rand Paul for Senate.

Mr. Paul said he liked both candidates and aspects of the campaign run by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, though he mostly lambasted Ms. Haley.

“As I look over the field, I don’t think I yet have a first choice, but I do know one thing: count me in as #NeverNikki!” he wrote.

The senator took particular exception to Ms. Haley’s belief that internet posters should be verified instead of remaining anonymous, an assertion that Ms. Haley later walked back.

“Based on her record and campaign, I don’t see how any thoughtful or informed libertarian or conservative should vote for @NikkiHaley,” Mr. Paul wrote.

So, he said he doesn’t have a first choice candidate yet. That’s interesting. It sounds like he is waiting to endorse Trump until he sees how the race goes once the caucuses and primaries begin. That process begins Monday with the Iowa caucuses. I tend to believe that he is coming out as #NeverNikki right now because she is alleged to have momentum in New Hampshire and also in recent polling in Iowa. She is within 7 points of Trump in New Hampshire, if you believe some polls. And, she is in second place in Iowa now, going ahead of DeSantis. The media is loving the Nikki Haley momentum narrative. They despise Ron DeSantis.

Rand Paul’s aversion to Nikki Haley’s candidacy is not a surprise. Does this give a boost to the DeSantis campaign since DeSantis and Haley are battling to come in at second place against Trump?

Rand Paul’s announcement on X this morning is a long thread but it’s worth taking a look. He explains everything.

You can follow the thread by clicking on his post. It’s worth the time.

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