OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham is imploring Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis to drop out of the race and endorse former President Donald Trump.
During a segment on “The Ingraham Angle,” the host argued that Trump’s resounding triumph in the Iowa caucuses was a “watershed moment for the Republican Party.”
“After what we witnessed in Iowa, it’s time for everyone to start living in the real world. Now, Donald Trump won the caucuses by historic margins — sorry, Joe Scarborough. Now, despite being far outspent in advertising, despite the media onslaught against him, despite being indicted four times and having to split time between courtrooms and the campaign trail, he did it. And at 77 years old, he is the energizer candidate,” Ingraham began.
“After giving his victory speech, he left Des Moines around 11 P.M. Central Time, he flew back to New York and then was in court again today. And then, he flew to New Hampshire to do the event that you just saw. Now, look, unless something unthinkable happens, Donald Trump is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party. And the party is more unified now behind him and his policies than at any time since the Reagan years or maybe, maybe right after 9/11. Now, this is not spin, it’s the truth. If beating Joe Biden is really their goal, then it’s time for some serious soul-searching by Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis. Now, let’s start with DeSantis,” she continued.
“He outperformed last night, he beat Nikki Haley’s war chest, so he has a lot to be proud of. As a candidate on the trail, he worked his butt off. And people forget how young he is. So with what, three more years as Florida’s governor, he can build an even greater track record of success in that very important state. So, a future in the Republican Party for him could be really bright. But he is simply not going to be president this time around. I know it’s hard to hear,” Ingraham continued.
“He worked really hard for it. It’s not happening. Trump is simply too powerful and has endured too much. Voters are not going to turn their backs on him at this point. And every day that Ron DeSantis stays on the campaign trail criticizing Trump is a day that hurts Ron DeSantis’ political future. He doesn’t gain anything from it, that’s for sure. And Trump, he’s not hurt by it at all. So it’s time to step aside and endorse Trump. Waiting for South Carolina is a colossal waste of time, it’s a waste of money, and frankly, it’s a waste of your future political capital,” she said.
Ingraham concluded: “And as for Nikki Haley, well, my advice is this: Stop listening to your high-priced campaign consultants who are telling you what they think you want to hear. Now, I know these people and I’m telling you, they fly around on their private planes, on the money that they make from these candidates, and they tell their clients to repeat silly lines. When she said this one, it was a silly line.”
“Now, the numbers showed Haley getting about 19% of the caucus votes. But what I wanted to say last night when I was on with Bret and Martha and I forgot in the excitement of the moment was the real percentage of Republican support she received is even lower. Because at the three precinct caucuses that I attended, Democrats turned out in huge numbers to support her,” Ingraham said.
“One of the caucus temporary chairs told me that it was about half the people in the caucuses where I was were actually Democrats. So these people hate Trump, they want to stop him by any means necessary, and they know that Nikki Haley, to them at least, is the most similar to Biden in the Republican field on issues from DEI to trade and the border,” Ingraham said.
“Now, I’m not sure why Nikki Haley thought that getting endorsements from people like Chris Sununu or Larry Hogan was going to help. You know, both are never-Trumpers, and neither are respected by grassroots Republicans, period, end of story,” she added.
“So, if she wants a future in the Republican Party, Haley needs to tune out the never-Trumpers, not embrace them. And then she needs to go to her donors, and this will be a toughy, and say to them this: ‘Look, the party has moved on. It’s not 2003 anymore. And we have to move on with it.’ The only alternative, for her, at least, is to retreat from politics all together simply. Because long after Trump retires, this is going to remain a conservative populist party. We’re not going back,” Ingraham concluded.