Trump, Biden power towards rematch as Haley drops out

Trump, Biden power towards rematch as Haley drops out

/ 07:12 AM March 07, 2024

Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Announces She's Suspending Her Campaign

DANIEL ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 6: Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announces the suspension of her presidential campaign at her campaign headquarters on March 6, 2024 in Daniel Island, South Carolina. Haley’s announcement comes after losing all GOP primaries except Vermont in yesterday’s Super Tuesday contests. Sean Rayford/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Sean Rayford / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Washington, United States — Donald Trump and President Joe Biden finally kicked off their bitter White House rematch Wednesday as the Republican’s final rival, Nikki Haley, threw in the towel after a crushing defeat in the “Super Tuesday” primaries.

Within seconds of Haley’s withdrawal Biden, 81, and former president Trump, 77, began competing for her moderate supporters in a contest between two elderly men that many American voters say they don’t want.


READ: Trump dominating Super Tuesday as he moves closer to Biden rematch


Declining to endorse Trump, who faces multiple criminal indictments and a scandal over his attempt to overthrow the 2020 election, Haley said he would have to earn the support of her followers.

“I congratulate him and wish him well,” Haley, 52, said of Trump in her home state of South Carolina, adding, however, that the United States “must turn away from the darkness of hatred and division.”

She also lamented the US “retreat” on world issues, including Ukraine, as Trump and his hard-right Republican allies block aid for Kyiv’s fight against the Russian invasion.

Haley’s withdrawal clears the stage for a one-of-a-kind election on November 5, where the stakes for a turbulent global order could not be higher — but whose key players have failed to enthuse many Americans.

‘Greatest movement’ 

Biden swept his Democratic “Super Tuesday” primaries but must now gear up for Thursday’s State of the Union address, a defining moment as the unpopular 81-year-old seeks to allay voter concerns over his age, the economy and the war in Gaza.


Trump proclaimed that he had “TROUNCED” Haley and invited her supporters to “join the greatest movement in the history of our nation.”

READ: Rivals say Biden, Trump too old to lead

Biden hailed her courage for telling the “truth about Trump” and said there was a place for her voters in his campaign.

“You don’t have to agree with me on everything to know MAGA extremism is a threat to this country,” Biden said on X, referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Impeached twice, beaten by seven million votes in 2020 and facing 91 felony charges in four trials, Trump has a profile unlike any US presidential election candidate in history.

Yet his appeal among working-class, rural and white voters on issues like immigration and the economy propelled him toward the Republican Party nomination.

Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the 2024 race so far, was sapped of suspense as Biden and Trump had effectively secured their parties’ backing — but it now sets the scene for the long eight months to come.

Seeking to make the first comeback by a defeated US president since Grover Cleveland in 1893, Trump swept 14 out of 15 states up for grabs on Tuesday.

‘Personal grievance’ 

Haley denied him only in the northeastern state of Vermont.

“They call it ‘Super Tuesday’ for a reason,” Trump told cheering supporters at his Mar-a-Lago beach club in Florida. “They tell me, the pundits and otherwise, that there has never been one like this, never been anything so conclusive.”

“This means the campaign will continue to be Trump’s tour of personal grievance,” Todd Belt, a politics professor at George Washington University, told AFP.

READ: Takeways from the Super Tuesday primaries

Biden meanwhile raced to clear wins — minus a loss in tiny Pacific Ocean territory American Samoa — and warned that Trump was “determined to destroy” US democracy.

Biden’s longshot challenger, Congressman Dean Phillips, dropped out on Wednesday.

The president is now expected to use his State of the Union speech to paint the election as a stark choice between himself and an existential threat to the country.

But he faces an uphill battle, with recent polls giving Trump a narrow lead.

There are also warning signs from a protest vote over Biden’s support for Israel’s offensive on Gaza, with some voters filling out ballots saying “uncommitted” in Minnesota and other states.

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Red lights are flashing for Trump, too, despite his dominant Super Tuesday performance, with signs that traditional voters in key swing states could be turned off by the chaos and scandal swirling around him.

TAGS: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Nikki Haley

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