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Nikki Haley calls Trump ‘disgruntled’ and ‘vengeful’ as she spars with Fox hosts over electability

Nikki Haley called Donald Trump “disgruntled” and “vengeful” as she sparred with Fox News over her electability versus that of the former president.

Fox News host Bill Hemmer told the former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor, “You went on to say there a moment ago that he was ‘totally unhinged’ ... Coming out of New Hampshire, he won 74 per cent of Republicans. To date, 109 counties have voted and you've won two, and one of those by a single vote. When do you start winning Republicans?”

Ms Haley said that she “will win Republicans”.

“But guess who else I win? I win moderates. And I win independents, which he does not. That is why he lost in 2018. That’s why he lost in 2020. That's why he lost in 2022. And that's why in every poll, you see, he loses to Joe Biden, and I win,” she argued. “This is the issue – you can't win a presidential election without moderates and independents. I can get the support of Republicans, moderates and independents. I will do that.”

“I didn't get zero delegates. I've got 17 delegates, we moved 25 points in New Hampshire in the last three weeks of that race – we're going to continue to move in South Carolina. We moved from two per cent to 20 per cent. Now we're gonna do even better than that in South Carolina,” she said.

Mr Hemmer pressed on, saying: “With the schedule coming up, you're not really competing in Nevada, and they got Michigan, Idaho and North Dakota – there [are] 16 states that vote on March 5, that’s Super Tuesday – which of those 16 will you win?”

“We're going to try and push for all of them,” Ms Haley said. “We're going to do everything and anything we can. But right now our focus is on South Carolina. We've always taken it one state at a time, we're gonna keep doing that.”

“Americans are coming on board with us. Everything that he does to talk about himself, [which] makes everybody realise we've got to be talking about America,” the ex-governor said.

“Only 31 per cent of eighth graders in our country are proficient in reading,” she noted. “We've got a border that's absolutely out of control. We've got wars around the world, and we've got to prevent our men and women that are in harm's way from getting hurt. There's some serious issues.”

“The last thing we need to talk about is how disgruntled he is or how vengeful he is we’ve got to start talking about solutions and how we’re going to get America back on track,” she added about the former president.

To win the Republican nomination, a candidate needs to garner 1,215 delegates. Mr Trump has so far gathered 32 to Ms Haley’s 17.

Mr Trump won the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire and Ms Haley is the last remaining candidate taking him on for the nomination going into the Granite State contest. After losing by about 11 points in New Hampshire, she said the race was “far from over” even as Mr Trump is expected to win big in her home state of South Carolina on 24 February.

The former president is facing a litany of legal problems, having been charged with 91 counts across four indictments, for election interference and mishandling classified information, in addition to other allegations of wrongdoing. Mr Trump has attended court this week, as his second defamation trial brought by writer E Jean Carroll, whom a previous jury found Mr Trump liable for sexual abuse in the mid-1990s, continues in a Manhattan court.